Renewable Energy Resources A road to sustained growth
Need of extensive use of renewable energy resources
It will eventually run out.
It cannot be recycled.
Prices for fossil fuels are rising, especially if the real cost of their carbon is included.
Fossil fuel pollutes the environment.
they leave behind harmful by-products upon combustion, thereby causing a lot of pollution;
Burning it produces carbon dioxide, a major cause of global warming. Also new energy sources need to be used such as nuclear power
Mining of such fuels leads to irreversible damage to the adjoining environment;
Anything tangible or intangible, that costs money is evaluated very carefully and used equally carefully in India. This means expenses are controlled and kept as low as possible. The scenario in energy consumption in India is no different. It is not surprising that the per capita energy consumption figures are very low in spite of high rate of development now taking place. The per capita consumption in India is in the region of 400 KWH per annum.
ENERGY SCENE IN INDIA
In the ninth five year plan (1997-2002) energy strategy is divided into short term strategy, medium strategy and long term strategy.
Our first step:-
India is blessed with an abundance of sunlight, water and biomass. Vigorous efforts during the past two decades are now bearing fruit as people in all walks of life are more aware of the benefits of renewable energy, especially decentralized energy where required in villages and in urban or semi-urban centers. India has the world’s largest program for renewable energy.
Government created the Department of Non-conventional Energy Sources (DNES) in 1982. In 1992 a full fledged Ministry of Non-conventional Energy Sources was established under the overall charge of the Prime Minister.
The range of its activities cover
· promotion of renewable energy technologies,
· create an environment conducive to promote renewable energy technologies,
· create an environment conducive for their commercialization,
· renewable energy resource assessment,
· research and development ,
· SHORT TERM STRATEGY
Administered pricing mechanism
· Institutional reforms to be consolidated for deregulation
· Optimum utilization of existing assets
· Production systems to be made efficient, transmission and distribution losses to be reduced
· R&D transfer of technologies to be promoted
· Energy efficiency improvement in accordance with national and socio-economic and environmental priorities
· Energy efficiency and emission standards to be promoted
· Labeling program for products
· Adoption of energy efficient technologies in giant industries
Medium and long term strategies:-
MEDIUM AND LONG TERM STRATEGIES
· Demand management through greater conservation of energy, optimum fuel mix, increasing reliance on rail for movement of goods and passengers and shift to emphasis on utilizing mass movement and transport systems for public rather than private transports
· Better urban planning to reduce need for energy in transport sector
· Shift and emphasis to solar, wind, biomass energy sources
India now ranks as a "wind superpower" with an installed wind power capacity of 1167 MW and about 5 billion units of electricity have been fed to the national grid so far.
In progress are wind resource assessment program, wind monitoring, wind mapping, covering 800 stations in 24 states with 193 wind monitoring stations in operations. Altogether 13 states of India have a net potential of about 45000 MW .
Wind energy is the kinetic energy associated with the movement of atmospheric air. It has been used for hundreds of years for sailing, grinding grain, and for irrigation. Wind energy systems convert this kinetic energy to more useful forms of power. Wind energy systems for irrigation and milling have been in use since ancient times.
Wind turbines transform the energy in the wind into mechanical power, then to electric power to generate electricity. Wind turbines can be used singly or in clusters called ‘wind farms’. Small wind turbines called aero-generators can be used to charge large batteries.
Five nations – Germany, USA, Denmark, Spain and India – account for 80% of the world’s installed wind energy capacity. Wind energy continues to be the fastest growing renewable energy source with worldwide wind power installed capacity reaching 14,000 MW.
India ranks 5th in the world with a total wind power capacity if 1080MW out of which 1025Mw have been established in commercial projects. Realizing the growing importance of wind energy, manufacturers have steadily been increasing the unit size of the wind electric generators since the late 1980s. Another important development has been the offshore (i.e. in the sea) wind farms in some regions of Europe, which have several advantages over the on-shore ones. The third major development has been the use of new techniques to assess the wind resource for techno-commercial viability.
Form of Energy : Kinetic energy This energy is used for : Sailing ships, Pumping water/Irrigation, Grinding Grains, Power generation
Some of the gadgets and other devices : Sails, Windmills, Wind turbines In India the states of Tamil nadu and Gujarat lead in the field of wind energy. At the end of March 2000 India had 1080-MWs capacity wind farms, of which Tamil nadu contributed 770-MW capacity. Gujarat has 167MW followed by Andhra Pradesh, which has 88 MW installed wind farms. There are about a dozen wind pumps of various designs providing water for agriculture, afforestation, and domestic purposes, all scattered over the country.
The design of the Oroville multi-blade windmill has evolved from the practical experience gained in operating these mills over a period of 20 years or so. It has a high tripod tower and its double-action pump increases water output by about 60% compared to the conventional single-action pumps.
Solar water heaters have proved the most popular so far and solar photovoltaic for decentralized power supply are fast becoming popular in rural and remote areas. More than 700000 PV systems generating 44 MW have been installed all over India. Under the water pumping program more than 3000 systems have been installed so far and the market for solar lighting and solar pumping is far from saturated. Solar drying is one area which offers very good prospects in food, agricultural and chemical products drying applications.
Solar energy India receives solar energy equivalent to over 5000 trillion kWh/year, which is far more than the total energy consumption of the country. Solar energy is the most readily available source of energy. It does not belong to anybody and is, therefore, free. It is also the most important of the non-conventional sources of energy because it is non-polluting and, therefore, helps in lessening the greenhouse effect. Solar energy has been used since prehistoric times, but in a most primitive manner. Before 1970, some research and development was carried out in a few countries to exploit solar energy more efficiently, but most of this work remained mainly academic. After the dramatic rise in oil prices in the 1970s, several countries began to formulate extensive research and development programs to exploit solar energy.
When we hang out our clothes to dry in the sun, we use the energy of the sun. In the same way, solar panels absorb the energy of the sun to provide heat for cooking and for heating water. Such systems are available in the market and are being used in homes and factories. In the next few years it is expected that millions of households in the world will be using solar energy as the trends in USA and Japan show. In India too, the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency and the Ministry of Non-Conventional Energy Sources are formulating a program to have solar energy in more than a million households in the next few years. However, the people’s initiative is essential if the program is to be successful.
India is one of the few countries with long days and plenty of sunshine, especially in the Thar desert region. This zone, having abundant solar energy available, is suitable for harnessing solar energy for a number of applications. In areas with similar intensity of solar radiation, solar energy could be easily harnessed. Solar thermal energy is being used in India for heating water for both industrial and domestic purposes. A 140 MW integrated solar power plant is to be set up in Jodhpur but the initial expense incurred is still very high. Form of Energy : Thermal energy This energy is used for: Cooking/Heating, Drying/Timber seasoning, Distillation, Electricity/Power generation, Cooling, Refrigeration, Cold storage
Some of the gadgets and other devices: Solar cooker, Flat plate solar cookers, Concentrating collectors, Solar hot water systems (Domestic and Industrial), Solar pond, Solar hot air systems, Solar Dryers, Solar timber kilns, solar stills, Solar photovoltaic systems, Solar pond, Concentrating collectors, Power Tower, Air conditioning, Solar collectors, coupled to absorption, Refrigeration systems. Solar energy can also be used to meet our electricity requirements. Through Solar Photovoltaic (SPV) cells, solar radiation gets converted into DC electricity directly. This electricity can either be used as it is or can be stored in the battery. This stored electrical energy then can be used at night. SPV can be used for a number of applications such as: a. domestic lighting b. street lighting c. water pumping d. desalination of salty water e powering of remote telecommunication repeater stations and f. railway signals.
Wind energy is the kinetic energy associated with the movement of atmospheric air. It has been used for hundreds of years for sailing, grinding grain, and for irrigation. Wind energy systems convert this kinetic energy to more useful forms of power. Wind energy systems for irrigation and milling have been in use since ancient times and since the beginning of the 20th century it is being used to generate electric power. Windmills for water pumping have been installed in many countries particularly in the rural areas.
Wind turbines transform the energy in the wind into mechanical power, which can then be used directly for grinding etc. or further converting to electric power to generate electricity. Wind turbines can be used singly or in clusters called ‘wind farms’. Small wind turbines called aero-generators can be used to charge large batteries.
WHAT IS BIOMASS?
Biomass energy is the utilization of energy stored in organic matter. Examples of biomass include wood, leaves, animal waste, crops, bones, and scales. The abundant plant life is our planet is natures store house of solar energy and chemical resources. Whether cultivated by man, or growing wild, plant matter represents a massive quantity of a renewable resource that we call biomass. Put another way, biomass is stored solar energy that can be converted to electricity or fuel. Biomass is a renewable resource.
WHERE DOES BIOMASS COME FROM?
Carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and water from the earth are combined in the photosynthetic process to produce carbohydrates or sugars. These sugars form the building blocks of biomass. The solar energy that drives photosynthesis is stored in the chemical bonds of the structural components of biomass. If biomass is burnt efficiently,
That is to extract the energy stored in the chemical bonds, oxygen from the atmosphere combines with the carbon in plants to produce carbon dioxide and water. The process is cyclic because the carbon dioxide is then available to produce new biomass. Thus biomass is definitely a renewable energy source. The organic matters are burned directly to produce heat or they are refined to produce fuel like ethanol or other alcoholic fuels.
HOW MUCH BIOMASS IS THERE? In terms of energy content the total annual production of biomass is estimated at 2,740 Quads (1 Quad = 10,000,000,000,000,000 Btus). Biomass production is about eight times the total annual world consumption of energy from all sources (about 340 Quads). Therefore, biomass represents a very large energy resource. At present the world population uses only about 7% of the annual production of biomass. Therefore, we are only partially exploiting nature's abundant renewable resource. WHAT IS THE COMPOSITION OF BIOMASS? The chemical composition of biomass varies among different species, but in general biomass consists of : 25% lignin 75% carbohydrates or sugars. Within this range of lignin and carbohydrates most species also contain about 5% of a third portion of smaller molecular fragments called extractives.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF BIOMAS? The most important advantage of biomass is that it is everywhere and very easily available. In the agriculture industry, residuals like bagasse (fibers) from sugarcane, straw from rice and wheat, hulls and nutshells, as well as manure lagoons from cattle, poultry and hog farms are usable. Similarly, the timber industry has a lot to offer. Wood wastes like sawdust, timber slash and mill scrap are considered organic materials. Even in cities, paper and yard wastes are usable. Fully utilized biomass reduces pollution in underground water bodies by offsetting the amount of waste in landfills. Methane and other poisonous gases that form from dead organic matters can be found in landfills and water treatment plants. Economic benefits : Rural economies will grow because of the development of a local industry to convert biomass to either electricity or transportation fuel. Because biomass feedstocks are bulky and costly to transport, conversion facilities will be located where the crop is grown. That means more people have chances of getting employed. Farmers will see their income rise thanks to these new markets -- for both agricultural wastes and crops that can be grown sustainably on marginal land. As new markets are created, the rural economy will become more diversified
Energy benefits : Energy producers and consumers will have available a renewable energy option with uniquely desirable characteristics. Biomass has the greatest potential of any renewable energy option for baseload electric power production. It is also the renewable resource with the most promise for producing economically competitive liquid transportation fuels. Co-production facilities will allow the production of electricity when it is needed and ethanol when it is not -- acting, in effect, as "seasonal peaking" facilities. These new technologies will reduce our reliance on oil and coal with no net addition of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. New thermal conversion techniques coupled with chemical catalysis are making it possible to exploit the previously discarded lignin fraction by converting it into valuable chemicals that we now get from non-renewable fossil sources.
Hydro energy is simply energy that is taken from water and converted to electricity. Hydro energy can be obtained by using many methods of capture. The most common method of using energy from water is a hydroelectric dam, where water coming down through an area causes turbines to rotate and the energy is captured to run a generator. Power can also be generated from the energy of tidal forces or wave power, which uses the energy created by waves.
Many countries in the world use hydro energy for conversion to electricity. Canada maintains the highest use, while the United States comes in second. One of the main reasons that hydro energy is used is that it is a renewable energy, meaning it will not be depleted over time and it will consistently be replenished. It is also a clean energy source, as it does not emit any toxins.
One downside to using hydro energy is that it can sometimes change the natural flow of the water which can make it possible to harm plants and animals in the water. It can also damage areas and wildlife, as when creating a hydro electric dam, areas must be flooded.
Other reasons that many want to use hydro energy is that it is cheaper than using other methods to convert energy to electricity.
It is also reliable and can be used almost immediately when turned on to meet the demand for electricity. Therefore, one must weigh the pros and cons before deciding to use hydro energy to supply their demand for electricity .
Renewable Energy Resources -A road to sustained growth