Scientists find solar hot spots to aid energy expansion

Scientists find solar hot spots to aid energy expansion

Scientists find solar hot spots to aid energy expansion

Indian space scientists have identified vast tracts of solar energy hot spots in central and western India with high electricity generation potential, nine months in a year.

These spots may aid the Central and state energy departments plan their solar energy expansion scheme as the NDA government targets generating 100 GW solar energy by 2022.

Relying on the satellite (Kalpana-1) data, researchers categorised the country from “very low”; to “very high” solar energy potential. The zones with high to very high quantity (2,500–3,500 kilowatt hour per sq mt per year) of assured solar energy are identified as hot-spots.

 One kilowatt hour is the energy consumed by 10 100-watt bulbs in an hour.
The hot spots fall in parts of western and central India, including Chhattisgarh, with promising pockets in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

“We have shared our data with the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. It will be useful for anyone planning to set up commercial solar energy plant,” space scientist Bimal K Bhattacharaya, who led the effort at the Isro’s Space Application Centre, Ahmedabad told DH.

The SAC team used satellite data between 2009 and 2011 to show that a majority of Indian landmass receives solar energy above 1,750 kilowatt hour per sq mt.

The SAC solar map is better than the existing government maps that are prepared on the basis of data from 45 ground stations.

 The interpolation from such sparse network produces large errors (60–70%) due to large uncertainties coming from the cloud cover estimates.
 

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