Electricity generation is the process of generating electric power from different sources of
energy. Nowadays electricity is very important to run each and every appliance. So, it is a big
task how to generate electricity with cheaper cost to fulfill the electricity demand of the
consumers. The dependence on fossil fuels, the need for reducing the carbon emissions
associated with energy use and the prospects of developing a new and innovative technology
sector, make solar energy increasingly attractive, However higher cost per unit of electricity is
the major drawback that have held back this energy source. In India, Nuclear power holds the
fourth position among the different resources of electricity, presently there are 19 nuclear power
plants in India which generates 4,560 MW (2.9% of total installed base) and 4 such power plants
are in the pipeline and would be generating around 2,720 MW. India's contribution in fusion
development is done through its involvement in the ITER project. This paper examines the
comparative study on solar and nuclear power plant in India.
The fundamental principles of electricity generation were discovered during the 1820s and early
1830s by the scientist Michael Faraday. His method is still used today for electricity generation
by the movement of a loop of wire, or inserting a disc of copper between the poles of a magnet.
Central power stations became economically practical with the development of production of
alternating current transmission and using the power transformers to transmit power at High
voltage and with low loss. The first power plants were run on water and coal but today we rely
mainly on coal, nuclear, natural gas, hydroelectric, wind power, petroleum, and also a small
amount from solar energy, tidal power, and geothermal sources. Most of the electricity is
generated by heat engines. And their primary source is heat. The combustion of fossil fuels
supplies most of the heat to these engines, and also a significant fraction of heat from nuclear
fission and some from renewable sources. Renewable sources other than solar, wind power etc.,
are currently expensive to produce electricity, with advancements in technology there are making
their cost of production to come down. Many governments around the world are providing
subsidies to reduce the high cost and make their production economically feasible.
Charanka Solar Park
The first commercial concentrated solar power plant was developed in 1980‟s.In July 2009,
India decided to produce 20GW power by 2020, but in November 2009 due to climatic changes
it plans to produce 1,000MW by 2013.As by December 2010 the solar power is about 10MW.
India’s electric power sector had an installed capacity of 207.85GW as of September 2012 and it
became the world’s fifth largest. In 2012, the installed grid connected photovoltaic cells have
been increased to 1040 MW. India expects to install 10,000MW by 2017 and increase is power
to 20,000MW by 2022. Gujarat has the generation capacity of more than 14,000MW.This is the
World’s first Multi developer, Multi facility, Multi Technology, Multi beneficiary and eco
friendly solar park. This is located near charanka village in patan district of northern Gujarat.
Gujarat contributes of 2/3rd of 900MW of solar power generated in our country. The sun is the
primary energy source for almost all energy flows on the planet. It’s time we started using it.
Solar cells are devices that take light energy as input and convert it into electrical energy. This
solar power is used to run the home appliances and lightning. The plant consists of two phases
Phase 1: Location – Village Charanka, Taluka Santalpur, Patan district. Objective – Dedicated >
500 MW Solar power Generation Area – Approx 2456 Ha land. Phase 2: Location – Villages
Harsad, Soneth, Morwada, Dungla Dabhi&Navapura, Taluka Vav, Banaskanth district. Building
Area – Approx 1205 Ha
Asia’s Largest Solar Park- The Charanka Solar Park
The Charanka Solar Park, a group of 17 thin-film photovoltaic (PV) power systems, on a
2,000-hectare (4,900-acre) site in the district of Patan, Northern Gujarat. The solar park is
expected to save around 8 million tonnes of carbon dioxide from being released into the
atmosphere and save around 900,000 tonnes of natural gas per year. The largest site within the
Gujarat Solar Park is being built on a 2,000-hectare (4,900-acre) plot of land near Charanka
village in Patan district, northern Gujarat. This hosts about 17 different projects by different
developers. On 19 April 2012, a total of 214 megawatts (287,000 hp) had been commissioned.It
also became the world’s largest photovoltaic power station. When fully built out, the Charanka
Solar Park will host 500 MW of solar power systems using state-of-the-art thin film technology,
and should be finished by the end of 2014.The investment cost for the Charanka solar park
amounts to some US$280 million.Construction began on December 3, 2010. While Gujarat has
been India’s most successful state till date in implementing solar policy (Phase I & Phase II) and
India’s leading state in terms of total installed capacity of solar power plants, Gujarat has also
been wonderfully able to tackle the issues of suitable land development, Grid Infrastructure
facility & power transmission facilities and more by successfully developing Asia’s Largest
Solar Park known as ‘Charanka Solar Park’. Asia’s largest solar park even larger than China’s
200 MW Golmud Solar Park, and the single largest segment of a 600 MW, nearly 3,000 acre+
solar power field with wonderful infrastructure facilities available such as Roads, Water Pipeline,
Water Treatment plant, Sewage treatment plant, Helipad, Water distribution network, internal
plot fencing, Land levelled, compound wall, Fire station, Telecom network, 400/220/66 KV &
66 KV Auxiliary SS, Auxiliary Power Distribution Network & much more facilities !!!! Making
Gujarat Solar Park one of the most preferred destination in the world for the project developers
to set up solar power plants. The Gujarat solar park at charanka has bagged several national &
international awards / recognition among world solar arena.
Out of the total installed solar power plants in Gujarat i.e. 820 MW+ – the Gujarat Solar Park
currently is home to 16 Solar Projects with 216 MW+ of installed solar plant capacity and has
emerged to be a true testing ground & laboratory for various Solar PV module technologies,
Solar Inverter technologies and test of EPC execution capabilities for various stakeholders.
Wartsila-Mantosh Sondhi Award
AHMEDABAD: The Gujarat Power Corporation ( Gujarat Solar Park) has been conferred upon
the 10th Wartsila-Mantosh Sondhi Award for significant contribution to the Indian energy sector.
The award was given by Wartsila India Ltd. Gujarat accounts for 66% of India's total solar
power. The Solar Park was launched at Charanka village in Patan district as a part of the
Swarnim Gujarat celebrations.
D J Pandian, Principal Secretary, Energy & Petrochemicals, with the state government accepted
the award from Bjorn Rosengren, President and CEO, Wartsila Corporation. Wartsila is a global
leader in complete lifecycle power solutions for the marine and energy markets. By emphasising
technological innovation and total efficiency, Wartsila maximises the environmental and
economic performance of the vessels and power plants of its customers.
Photovoltaics (PV) is a method of generating electrical power by converting solar radiation into
direct current electricity using semiconductors that exhibit the photovoltaic effect. Photovoltaic
power generation employs solar panels composed of a number of solar cells containing a
photovoltaic material. Mainstream materials presently used for photovoltaics include
monocrystalline silicon, polycrystalline silicon, amorphous silicon, cadmium telluride, and
copper indium gallium selenide/sulfide. Due to the increased demand for renewable energy
sources, the manufacturing of solar cells and photovoltaic arrays has advanced considerably in
Solar photovoltaics is a sustainable energy source. By the end of 2011, a total of 71.1 GW had
been installed, sufficient to generate 85 TWh/year. And by end of 2012, the 100 GW installed
capacity milestone was achieved. Solar photovoltaics is now, the third most important renewable
energy source in terms of globally installed capacity. More than 100 countries use solar PV.
Installations may be ground-mounted (and sometimes integrated with farming and grazing) or
built into the roof or walls of a building (either building-integrated photovoltaics or simply
Driven by advances in technology and increases in manufacturing scale, the cost of photovoltaics
has declined steadily since the first solar cells were manufactured, and the levelised cost of
electricity (LCOE) from PV is competitive with conventional electricity sources in an expanding
list of geographic regions. Net metering and financial incentives, such as preferential feed-in
tariffs for solar-generated electricity, have supported solar PV installations in many countries.
Photovoltaics are best known as a method for generating electric power by using solar cells to
convert energy from the sun into a flow of electrons. The photovoltaic effect refers to photons of
light exciting electrons into a higher state of energy, allowing them to act as charge carriers for
an electric current. Solar cells produce direct current electricity from sun light which can be used
to power equipment or to recharge a battery. The first practical application of photovoltaics was
to power orbiting satellites and other spacecraft, but today the majority of photovoltaic
modules are used for grid connected power generation. In this case an inverter is required to
convert the DC to AC.
CHARANKA SOLAR POWER PLANT DETAILS:
A. Site Selection
Should be shade free.
The array should not be shaded between 9 am to 3pm
Receive sufficient beam of radiation.
Frequency of rainfall and amount of dust
Situated in arid to semi-arid regions.
B. Required Land Area
The land required for constructing solar plant is approximately 2000 Ha. It’s a waste land.
C. Installation Cost
The construction of solar plant started on December 30, 2010. The total installation cost for this
plant is about $280 million. The development cost is of about Rs.4500 crores
D. Generation Capacity
Charanka solar park has the total generation capacity of 590MW.
E. Cost Per Unit
Initially the cost of the solar power is Rs.15 per unit but later it has been reduced to Rs.8.50 per
unit. In future as the production of solar power increases the cost will go down at Rs.4 per unit.
And may even decrease in future when the solar power generation increases. Initially the cost per
unit is high in order to recover the capital.
F. The Electrical Power Produced
The Electrical Power produced in charanka solar park is 214MW at present, which is more than
the China’s 200 MW Golmund Solar park and the Electrical Power produced is 1000 MW.
Item Solar PV Power
Capacity (MW) 1
Capital Cost (Rs in Lac/MW) 1442
Useful life (Years) 25
Tariff Period (Years) 25
Capacity Utilization Factor (%) 19
Auxiliary Consumption -
Debt : Equity 70% - 30%
10 years @ 7%
year onwards @ 1.33%
Advantages and Disadvantages of Charanka Solar Power Park
1) Solar energy is completely a renewable resource.
2) It is pollution free. Since no smoke is emitted into the air. And it does not cause global
3) Little maintenance is required during their life span.
4) Most of the solar energy systems have a life span of about 30 to 40 years.
5) Easy installation and no need of wires and power sources.
6) Can reduce the electricity bills
7) At present solar energy systems are designed for particular needs. And even the solar cells can
be placed directly on the lights which cannot be seen.
1) It is not possible to get the solar power during night time, stormy and cloudy days.
2) The PV panel should be free from dirt and dust.
3) Once the solar energy equipment is installed it is not possible to replace it for 40yrs of it life
span. However the cost might might be huge.
The solar plant wins every way from nuclear plant. Whether through solar power plant or
through nuclear power plant, the production of power is increasing day by day. But now the cost
per unit of electricity is much less in solar when compared to nuclear power plant in India .As
the fossil fuels are declining slowly the demand for the solar power will increase in future. Due
to this reason Gujarat is yet to start another new solar power plant in India. If the energy demand
still increases there will be solar panels in every house to meet their electricity demand.
Economic feasibility is not always the determining factor in selecting a power generation system.
More days has passed when the cost of conventional energy was significantly lower than the cost
of solar energy. At present the coals increased price is driving the higher cost of electricity.