THINGS TO BE THOUGHT – IMPLEMENTING RENEWABLES

The key to progress and continuation of civilisation lies with Renewable energy. Considering Environmental benefits, Energy security it is of vital importance. However, with benefits there are also a few teething troubles at the moment with these sources.

SOLAR ENERGY: This is dependent in entirety to the abundant source of energy, i.e. Sun. The energy it produces is clean and doesn’t cause any harm to the environment. However, the disposal system of the material used to fabricate solar cell is unidentified. This might lead to unfamiliar problems in the future, which has happened with resources like electronics and nuclear waste.

The energy production is costly and the integration mechanism with the energy grid is underexplored which has led to pricey integration and installation. The system if connected with battery backup becomes expensive and doesn’t in the absence if grid is not working. The expectation of masses with solar power is that it would work during electricity outages, where it fails if not connected with batteries. In cloudy days, the system fails and hence a requirement of backup system becomes necessary. Considering these points, a hybrid system involving grid connected Solar PVs appropriately connected with a battery back needs to be devised on case basis. With the present efficiency of solar cells, in order to meet our present requirements more than half of our countries need to be covered with the panels, which becomes a decelerating force.

GEOTHERMAL ENERGY: This is the energy stored in the earth in the form of heat, where temperature gradient between the core and the surface leads to continuous conduction of energy.This power is cost-effective, reliable, sustainable, and environmentally friendly, but its cost effectiveness is limited to the region close to tectonic plate boundaries.  Hence, this resource is extremely location specific.

The recurrent application of this system without feasibility study is leading to failure at few locations. This in turn is spoiling the prospect of this valuable resource where its failure is claimed loud when the fault was an unsuitable location.

HYDEL ENERGY: Dams are built to control fast flowing rivers so that the water can be used to turn turbines to generate electricity. The energy produced is clean and abundant resources are available but it has a significant environmental and social impact. The projects at certain times also lead to massive dislocation of populace.

Moreover, we can consider an example of Dam over Three gorges where significant environmental damage has been caused by Hydel energy project under absence of proper planning and implementation.

WIND ENERGY: Wind farms can use the power of the wind to generate electricity. There are a few large wind farms in the world which amount to a significant contribution in the region’s energy demand. However, it requires a convincing viability analysis and is only done in the places with abundant wind-power. However, the sound produced is distressing and it demands of large open areas. Research in building-integrated small turbines can bring about a revolution with source.

This reflects that renewables are the untapped sources for future; however, they need research in implementation and efficiency measures. Under an absence of either, they would be easily discarded by the energy lobbyist who are denying climate change and recommending usage of fossils. Implementation of these resources without proper planning leads to underperformance where it becomes a classic case of failure of a system owing to poor design. Owing to these scenarios where an excellent system is considered bad simply because of poor implementation, we need to win this battle of the energy crisis and climate change by conducting proper research and planning in implementing these energy systems. 

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