Barriers Preventing Solar and Wind Energy to Scaling Up in India

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Solar energy is the energy which comes directly from the sun in the form of light and heat that is converted in the useful form with the help of a variety of technologies, such as solar heating, photovoltaic, molten salt power plants, solar thermal energy, etc. The wind is the form of solar energy. Power generators are used to convert the kinetic energy of the air passing through wind turbine into electric energy (Sumathi, 2015). However, 95% of the world energy production still comes from non-renewable energy or nuclear power (https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/is-nuclearenergy-safe/), which plays an essential role in fulfilling the energy requirement of the world. This research project focuses on the current energy status and the obstacles related to the development of solar and wind energy scaling up in India. The fastgrowing demand for electricity exerts huge pressure on conventional energy sources. Due to the intermittent nature of irradiation and wind velocity, a hybrid grid structure is more preferable in the present scenario.

The use of alternative energy sources like solar and wind is the measure, which helps to attain eco-friendly, green environment. It decreases the dependency on fossil fuel energy for the highly populated country like India. India today finds itself on the path of becoming one of the leading nations in solar energy by taking steps towards implementing large scale solar power projects and is assured to position itself as a one of the world’s major solar producer as well as a manufacturing hub for solar power plants. The propagation of solar and wind energy technology in India faces different types of Barriers. In India, the most common energy generation fuel is coal, which will last until 2050. The use of coal is the main factor for global warming and health hazards. Renewable energy is the best solution to overcome these hurdles. If renewable energy plans are implemented in rural areas, it will not only meet the growing energy needs but also stop them from migrating to urban areas. However today the main drivers in India are Energy Shortage, Climate change, and Energy Security. The primary technological obstructions involve low conversion efficiency of the PV modules, performance limitations of energy storage devices and inverters, inadequate supply of raw materials like silicon (Si). The main problem of a standalone PV system is the storage of the surplus energy produced. The battery used in the system for this purpose is characterized by a very short lifetime comparable to that of the PV module. In some aspects, barriers are linked to financial measures. Finance resources become a leading hurdle. Wind and solar energy projects as estimated by financial organizations are characterized by lesser durability, but the payback period is very long and revenue structure is small.

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In order to evade further problems after planting or implementation of the solar-wind projects, it is crucial to consider the beliefs, traditions, and superstitions of the local society. It is very important for solar and wind plants developers to include local societies and people to know their opinion regarding planned projects (IDFC, 2010). There are also some hitches in a project under green energy, such as market competition risk, technology up gradation, credit returns, and fewer income risks.

Economic Barriers

Solar:

The proper financing mechanism is absent in India. Banks provide debt at a rate much higher than what is available in the developed nations. Due to the lack of funding, many projects are struggling to finish. The access to advanced technology is very restricted for a general population, which causes either availability of the technology at very high cost or its unavailability. The tax issue is also a dominant hurdle for low-cost power tariff based on renewable power generation. Furthermore, trade complication occurs for the import of such power due to its high tax rate. For developing countries like India, it is not economically tolerable to install windmills and solar modules at a high rate. Hence, initial financial funds are required in terms of subsidies at the initial phase of rooftop projects. High initial and installation costs lead to loss of consumer interest, which causes a decrease in the market size. Overseas companies from Europe and China link up with new solar and wind entrepreneurs’ which shrinks the local market. Therefore, the Indian solar and wind projects are more dependent upon import. High initial investments for robot technology for the cleaning process of solar panels are required for the project like Kamuthi Solar Power Project commissioned by Adani Power with a generating capacity of 648 MW at a single location at Kamuthi, India. The Kamuthi solar power project in Tamil Nadu, India is the world’s largest solar photovoltaic power plant at a single location.

Wind:

The high initial investment is required to establish a wind energy generation farm. Good wind sites are usually located at remote areas, but load centers are located at urban places, hence, extra investments are required to compensate for the transmission & distribution losses. High cost and low efficiency is a major drawback of SavoniusVAWT. Since these turbines are lower to the ground, they do not harness the higher wind speeds often found at higher levels. Vibration can be an issue at times, and even increase the noise produced by the turbine.

Technical Barriers

Solar:

Intermittent nature of solar irradiation is a problem to meet the consumer’s power demand. Absence of sun position tracking mechanism decreases the overall efficiency of the system. Dust over the surfaces of the panel for a long duration causes adverse effect over the generation of electricity. PV panels are designed for standard test conditions but, due to diversified weather condition in India during the year, factors like temperature, isolation, humidity, air mass, etc. changes, which causes less rated output. Component Failure, like cracking of the PV panel, is causing the unusual penetration of light into the panel surface, which further reduces the efficiency and maximum energy output of the panel. Hence, a complete replacement of the panel is required to maintain the desired output level of power. Visual discoloration occurred in the solar panel due to humidity, very high surrounding temperature and also when panels are installed near oceanic regions. This causes deterioration in the absorption of the desired wavelength of light. Subsequently, causes the loss of power and decreases the energy output of the panel. The snow that spreads over the surface of the panel in some geographical locations does not slide off the panel naturally. This can damage the panel, and also adversely affects the power output of the panel. If the panel has been installed in the coal mine areas or the places where the environment is dusty in nature, a formation of carbon layer starts over the surface of the panel due to tilt angle less than 5 degree. In order to maximize the gain of solar irradiance, the tilt angle is kept 5 or less than 5 degree which increases the chance of dust formation over the surface of the panel, and subsequently decreases the panel efficiency. Considering wind with variable speed, large scale frequency of vibration is observed in the corners of the solar panel because it is the most sensitive part for dynamic wind speed. Therefore, the lifespan of the panel decreases with installation over high wind speed prone region. Lack of technical knowledge becomes a hurdle in the selection of PV panels. Considering efficiency and cost, a monocrystalline panel is best suited, whereas thin-film panels are a poor choice.

India is lacking sufficient laboratories and organizations, like National Institute of Solar Energy, to provide certifications, standards, etc. for the quality confirmation and its suitability of solar panels and wind turbines for renewable energy technology utilization. This adversely affects the perception of technology. Only a skilled and technically sound person can replace a skillful professional. However, developing countries like India have very much deficiency of such people, which is a big constraint for the entrepreneurship to establish the startups for a solar or wind company. Off-grid solar-wind hybrid generation system requires energy storage devices to store the surplus power when the generated power is greater than the demand by the consumer. It constitutes an extra initial investment for the entrepreneur. The problem of hotspots, in the PV panel, is a noteworthy issue while operating at very high temperature, since panels are configured with the interconnection of PV cells. Even one small hot spot in a panel can heavily diminish the energy output and the efficiency of the panels.

Wind:

Challenges of L3 i.e., low cost, long term operation, and low maintenance are required and for developing countries like India, it becomes difficult to maintain the challenges of L3 because most of the parts are imported from other countries and gradually operation cost and maintenance cost also increase. Sometimes, the sound produced by blades in the wind turbine system causes noise pollution countries like India where the population is rapidly increasing it becomes difficult to find a suitable place to install these Wind turbines. Icing is also a prime concern over the wind farm for cold places. Ice builds up when turbine blades do not move. It causes a change in the turbine blade shape and hence, reduces its overall efficiency. When bearings in the turbine are overheated, it causes a spark and leads to fire damage to the system. Moreover, lightning is also a natural factor for the fire damage issue in the windmill. On the other hand, applications of wind and solar has major technical barriers, such as increase in the level of onshore wind which can produce a dramatic dip in between 9 am to 4 pm in which low load requires less power from conventional power plants and wind-solar generation at the peak need to ramp up quickly as the sun sets.

Institutional Barriers

Absence of synchronization and collaboration between government, educational institutes, and agencies delays the development and growth of the solar and wind energy projects. Lack of research and development environment and infrastructure is the biggest hurdle to attain India technological leadership in solar and wind energy projects. Shortage of the better financing infrastructure, models and arrangements decelerate the solar and wind energy industry. Lack of institutions to publicize needful information leads to a lack of information for the customer as well as the entrepreneurs. In a country like India, the stability of the economy is not fixed. Therefore the thing mentioned before rises a high risk and unpredictability for novel investors. Therefore there are other products which provide high payback period. Unavailability of proper skilled training and development of human resources to drive the solar and wind industry. There are insufficient numbers of workshops and conferences organized to share technical information to install and run the solar and wind power projects.

Environmental Barriers

It is a challenge to have an availability of suitable land which must be non-agricultural and unused, with good solar irradiance especially for a country like India with such a high number of population. Although traditional silicon panels constitute no chemical hazard after the end of their life, cadmium Tellurium (CdTe) panels become toxic when unused. If these panels are disposed of in a landfill, it becomes harmful as cadmium is taken in the process of getting easily mixed. Lubricating material in wind turbines ends up in the environment via total loss applications, volatility, spills or accidents. It is a threat to the environment and becomes a hazard for human health. Sometimes, a catastrophic event occurs on wind farms, such as fire and explosion, due to high wind speed. During the installation and operation, environmental hazards occur to the personnel, including worker’s injuries from cranes and heavy lifts, musculoskeletal injuries from lifting, slips, and trips. Visual impact and landscape perception is a crucial obstacle in the application of wind farm for the power generation. Both are associated with nature and geographical location of the place. Therefore, it varies with the position of the farm.

Social Barriers

Solar:

With the increase in the population, the total requirement of electricity in India will be of 5,000 Terawatt hour in 2040 which is a four-fold increase from 2014. Instead of indulging financial and technical efforts in the growth of solar and wind energy programs, India’s priority is to start antipoverty programs to overcome poverty by providing industries and health care facilities. Raw Industrialist faces the problem of high-cost capital requirement to establish renewable energy based generation units. At the same time, subsidized government policies on generation units give a negative impact on the competitiveness in the market. Negative perception about the products reduces the acceptance rate of the technology. This is a major issue of the reduced market size of renewable energy technology. Lack of consumer understanding of finance and usage of photovoltaic rooftop system leads to nonrecommendation for new houses and buildings by planners. Land acquisition is a difficult task in India if religious places come in between solar power plants. According to the Land Act, 2013, it will take up to five years for acquiring land if all steps followed smoothly.

Wind:

Local wildlife damage is observed with the operation of the wind turbine. Flying birds get killed on the spinning blades of the turbine. At night time, red light in the wind system disturbs the biological clock of night-migrating birds, which causes adverse effects on their lifecycle. It leads to a decrease in the local population. Considering the aircraft safety, wind turbines cannot be installed near airport runways and helipads. Potential displacement requiring immigration, when land is expropriated for the installation of wind farms. The shadow flickering effect is observed when turbine blades cut the sun rays causing a reappearance of the shadows. This causes serious health-related problems like headache, stress, etc. For onshore wind farms, the problem of land acquisition is a major obstacle. It occurs in the process of the material, prices, penalties, and the distinction between the voluntary and landowner. Loss of income, as well as assets, occurs in the process of potential displacement and resettlement to install a wind farm.

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Barriers Preventing Solar and Wind Energy to Scaling Up in India. (2022, September 15). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 23, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/barriers-preventing-solar-and-wind-energy-to-scaling-up-in-india/
“Barriers Preventing Solar and Wind Energy to Scaling Up in India.” Edubirdie, 15 Sept. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/barriers-preventing-solar-and-wind-energy-to-scaling-up-in-india/
Barriers Preventing Solar and Wind Energy to Scaling Up in India. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/barriers-preventing-solar-and-wind-energy-to-scaling-up-in-india/> [Accessed 23 Jul. 2024].
Barriers Preventing Solar and Wind Energy to Scaling Up in India [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Sept 15 [cited 2024 Jul 23]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/barriers-preventing-solar-and-wind-energy-to-scaling-up-in-india/
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