unsteady Wind is a source of power that fluctuates. File photoFor a clean energy economy

Solar cell technology has claimed most scientific minds in the sector dedicated to alternative energy sources. Ever wondered why wind power does not kick up as much storm? The problem is wind is a source of power that fluctuates.

Willett Kempton’s team from the Centre for Carbon-free Power Integration at the University of Delaware in the US have figured a way to get wind energy to rise to fame.
The research spanned five years. Eleven wind stations distributed over 2,500 km along the east coast of USA were chosen. The wind turbines were interconnected by a submerged high-voltage transmission cable. The power output for each hour at each site was calculated.

“Each individual wind power generator site exhibited the expected power ups and downs. But when we connected all the wind turbines via a transmission line, the system averaged out the fluctuations and produced steady power during the course of the study,” said Kempton.

Wind energy experts in India are sceptical. Though there are studies that show interconnecting far-spaced wind generators yield greater benefit. Proximate stations are likely to experience similar weather at the same time. “But longer the distance, higher are chances of unsteady power,” said Bhatti.

Ankur Paliwal
Down To Earth Feature Service

Fertilisers acidify soils

Soils are accustomed to acidity, every plant and soil like form is used to its particular soil pH.  Any change in the pH can adversely effect the metabolism of the organism. For instance, a decrease in pH modifies the top soil a major source of crop nutrients.
A research conducted by China Agricultural University in Beijing on the change of soil pH brings out that, nitrogen fertiliser consumption in China increased by 191 per cent between 1981 and 2007, resulting in increased soil acidity. Acidification by human activities such as nitrogen fertilisation is 10 to 100 times greater than acid deposition through processes like acid rain.

Fertilisation based on nitrogen management practices is one of the most urgent requirement for sustainable agriculture in China and the developing world according to them.

India suffers under a similar situation. Currently there are 100 million ha suffering from acidity of which 25 million ha are in critical condition and 12 million ha need immediate attention.

Down To Earth Feature Service