INDIA'S LARGEST FLOATING SOLAR POWER PROJECT
Recently, the final 20 MW of the 100 MW Ramagundam floating solar PV project's commercial operation date was recently announced. With this, the 100 MW Ramagundam floating solar PV project in Telangana is declared operational from 1st July 2022. It is the largest project of its kind in India.
WHAT ARE FLOATING SOLAR PANELS?
These are Photovoltaic (PV) modules mounted on platforms that float on water reservoirs, lakes, and where conditions are right, seas and oceans. These platforms are typically moored on calmer bodies of water, such as ponds, lakes or reservoirs. These installations are relatively quick to construct, silent to run and require no land levelling or removal of vegetation.
KEY HIGHLIGHTS OF RAMAGUNDAM PROJECT?
It is endowed with advanced technology and Environment-friendly features. The project spreads over 500 acres of the reservoir. Divided into 40 blocks, each having 2.5 MW. Each block consists of one floating platform and an array of 11,200 solar modules. The solar modules are placed on floaters manufactured with HDPE (High-Density Polyethylene) material. The entire floating system is anchored through special HMPE (High Modulus Polyethylene) rope to the dead weights placed in the balancing reservoir bed. This project is unique in the sense that all the electrical equipment including inverter, transformer, HT panel, and SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) are also on floating Ferro cement platforms.
WHAT ARE THE OTHER SOLAR ENERGY INITIATIVES?
- Solar Park Scheme: Plan to build a number of solar parks, each with a capacity of nearly 500 MW, across several states.
- Rooftop Solar Scheme: To harness solar power by installing solar panels on the roof of the houses.
- Atal Jyoti Yojana (AJAY): The AJAY scheme was launched in September 2016 for the installation of solar street lighting (SSL) systems in states with less than 50% households covered with grid power (as per Census 2011).
WHAT IS THE CURRENT STATE OF INDIA'S SOLAR SECTOR?
About: The country’s installed Renewable Energy (RE) capacity stands at 150.54 GW (solar: 48.55 GW, wind: 40.03 GW, Small hydro Power: 4.83, Bio-power: 10.62, Large Hydro: 46.51 GW) as on 30th Nov. 2021 while its nuclear energy based installed electricity capacity stands at 6.78 GW.
India has the 4th largest wind power capacity in the world. This brings the total non-fossil based installed energy capacity to 157.32 GW which is 40.1% of the total installed electricity capacity of 392.01 GW.
Push to RE in the Budget 2022-23:
To facilitate domestic manufacturing for the ambitious goal of 280 GW of installed solar capacity by 2030, an additional allocation of 19,500 crore for Production Linked Incentive for manufacture of high efficiency modules will be made.
Issues: Budget estimate for the Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) for 2022-23 showed that the investment in Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has been nearly halved — to less than Rs 1,000 crores from over Rs 1,800 crore. SECI is the only Public Sector Undertaking of the Union government working on solar energy and is currently responsible for the development of the entire renewable energy sector. A primary issue with the manufacturing of solar PhotoVoltaic (PV) modules in India over the years has been a lack of quality. This could have been addressed by enhancing research and development related to technological aspects of fully integrated manufacturing units from polysilicon to solar PV modules. However, any separate allocation for such R&D has not been announced.
- Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan (PM-KUSUM)
- International Solar Alliance
- One Sun, One World, One Grid (OSOWOG)
- National Solar Mission
- National Offshore Wind Energy Policy
- National Wind-Solar Hybrid Policy 2018
- Hydrogen Based Fuel Cells Vehicles
WHAT IS GREEN GRIDS INITIATIVE?
India and the UK jointly announced a declaration on “one sun, one world, one grid” — or OSOWOG at the Conference of Parties (COP26), held in Glasgow, UK.
What do we know about OSOWOG?
About: GGI-OSOWOG was conceived in 2018 to develop global interconnected solar energy systems. Under the International Solar Alliance, India announced the launch of the Green Grids Initiative — One Sun, One World, One Grid (GGI-OSOWOG) in partnership with the United Kingdom.
Objectives: The vision behind the OSOWOG is ‘The Sun Never Sets’ and is a constant at some geographical location, globally, at any given point of time. The initiative aims to build a framework for global cooperation on the effective utilisation of renewable resources and to help ensure that clean and efficient energy is a reliable option for all nations to meet their energy requirements by 2030. This project aspires to harness the sun’s energy and build a global interconnected electricity grid to accelerate the transition to renewable energy. The initiative is expected to connect more than 80 countries across a large geographical area, with varying levels of sunlight. A transitional system will enable countries with low levels of sunlight to obtain energy from areas with an excess of it.
WHAT IS THE INTERNATIONAL SOLAR ALLIANCE (ISA)?
- About: The International Solar Alliance (ISA) is an action-oriented, member-driven, collaborative platform for increased deployment of solar energy technologies. Its basic motive is to facilitate energy access, ensure energy security, and drive energy transition in its member countries. The ISA was conceived as a joint effort by India and France to mobilize efforts against climate change through deployment of solar energy solutions.
- Vision: Let us together make the sun brighter.
- Mission: Every home, no matter how far away, will have a light at home.
- Headquarters: The Headquarters is in India with its Interim Secretariat being set up in Gurugram.
- Member Nations: A total of 106 countries have signed the ISA Framework Agreement. Out of 106 nations, 86 have signed and ratified the ISA Framework Agreement. All member states of the United Nations are eligible to join the ISA.
- Observer Status to International Solar Alliance: The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has granted Observer Status to the International Solar Alliance (ISA). It will help provide for regular and well-defined cooperation between the Alliance and the United Nations that would benefit global energy growth and development.
- Director General of ISA: The International Solar Alliance is headed by the Director General. The Director General leads the operations and carries out the functions of the ISA Secretariat. He is responsible to the ISA Assembly.
- Tenure: The Director General has a term of four years and is eligible for re-election.
Q.1 The 100 MW Ramagundam floating solar PV project which is declared operational from 1st July 2022 is a project of which of the following States?
- Telangana: ANSWER
- Andhra Pradesh
- Tamil Nadu
Q.2 Consider the given statements in the reference to the Floating Solar Panels System & state which of the following is/are incorrect?
- The floating solar panels are Photovoltaic (PV) modules mounted on platforms that float on water reservoirs, lakes, and where conditions are right, seas and oceans.
- The water body underneath the solar modules helps in maintaining their ambient temperature, thereby improving their efficiency and generation.
- With the presence of floating solar panels, the evaporation rate from water bodies is increased, which is not so useful in Water Conservation: ANSWER
- None of the above-mentioned
Q.3 Out of the given options, which of the following is the current/incumbent Minister of New & Renewable Energy in India?
- Santosh Gangawar
- Raj Kumar Singh: ANSWER
- Bhupendra Yadav
- None of the above-mentioned
Q.4 In January 2016, Narendra Modi, and the then French President _________ jointly laid the foundation stone of the International Solar Alliance?
- Emmanuel Macron
- Jacques Chirac
- François Hollande: ANSWER
- None of the above-mentioned
Q.5 The UNFCCC secretariat (UN Climate Change) which is the United Nations entity tasked with supporting the global response to the threat of climate change is headquartered at ________?
- Oslo, Norway
- Bonn, Germany: ANSWER
- Stockholm, Sweden
- None of the above