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Saturday, 17 January 2015

‘1 hour of sunlight can power the world for a day’

The recent announcement by a Foreign Investment Institution (FII) that production of solar energy can become a cheaper and affordable means of alternate energy holds ground as speakers in the recently concluded 102nd Indian Science Congress also threw light on a similar possibility. Apart from affordable solar energy, the topic on Innovate and Make in India saw prominent industry persons throw light on how non-conventional energy sources needed to be exploited to save the environment.

Brushing aside concerns that the world would face an energy shortage in a few decades, Ravi Pandit, co-founder, chairman and group CEO of KPIT Technologies, said that solar energy was sufficient to provide power to the entire world. “One hour of sunlight is sufficient to provide energy to the entire world for a day only if there was affordable and cheaper methods of garnering solar energy. The systems in use to capture solar energy are not cost effective but research is on to come up with solutions that will be able to generate solar energy at a very low cost. We are also in the process of coming up with such technologies,” Mr Pandit had said during his speech in the congress symposium.

Another speaker at the congress Pramod Chaudhari, executive chairman of Praj Industries, while speaking on alternate sources of energy, said the need of the hour is to generate energy where it was consumed so as to cut down on the cost of transporting it, which led to losses and escalation of the cost.

Recently, the Alternate Energy Group of the FII had predicted that newer methods of generating solar energy would make it more affordable. The prediction can be assumed to be based on the fact that newer materials to hold solar power are being found in the world that can absorb and convert 90 per cent of the sunlight into heat.

Mr Pandit had also said that the current photovoltaic cells used to garner solar energy were insufficient and better power holding cells on the lines of lithium ion batteries were needed and that Indian scientists could play a major role in coming up with a solution for the problem.

Cook noodles using solar power

On Thursday, January 15, around 1,500 school students will be cooking noodles at Patwardhan Garden at Bandra using solar kits. The initiative is part of the energy conservation drive that is part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Swacchh Bharat campaign and is being organised by BJP leader advocate Ashish Shelar who will be arranging for the solar kits. The governor of Maharashtra C. Vidyasagar Rao, Union minister Piyush Goyal and MP Poonam Mahajan will also be present on the occasion. Around 100 students from civic schools and 50 physically challenged students will also take part in the event. About 150 students belonging to poor families will be allowed to take the solar kits with them.

Source: The Asian Age, 17th Jan 2015

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