Hybrid Renewable Power: The Future Of Energy

Posted on April 22, 2011 in Environment

By Srishti Chauhan:

With the world seemingly coming to a foreseen end, the power crisis is set to escalate exponentially within a matter of a few years. In India alone, it is estimated that about half of the people are off the electricity grid and still the gap between supply and demand is about 20%.

In Gurgaon, Tata Consultancy maintains 5 giant generators and a diesel tank which can store 5,000 litres of diesel. This is because this emerging industrial hub of the nation cannot supply electricity for industrial production or for domestic use. Power cuts for more than 10-12 hours per day are common.

In Uttar Pradesh, most of the areas get electric supply for about 2 hours a day- and less during peak summer hours. The significant question here is that if the power crisis is already so massive then what is the future going to be with needs set to rise?

There are various proposed solutions to the impending shortage. One of the most popular solutions has been nuclear energy. Inspired by France which produces nearly 75% of its energy from nuclear generation, India signed the nuclear power pact with USA a while ago. However, with the Fukushima disaster at present and Chernobyl and Three Mile Island behind us, experts think it is time to re-strategize and not jump on the nuclear bandwagon with all our eggs in the same crate.

Research has shown that nuclear power will also not be sustainable in the long run. With limited reserves of uranium and thorium, nuclear supply which stands at producing 3% of the total energy needs, can go up to only 9%.

The future, researchers have claimed, is hybrid renewable energy. Solar power is abundant in India because of India being a tropical country. Researchers claim that since no form of power can be stored, therefore, it is necessary to use 2 forms of generation in tandem with one another. One proposed idea is to use solar power to generate hydrogen from water. Since hydrogen can be stored, therefore, it can later be used to run the turbines as per the need.

This proposal is termed as the future of energy. However, experts are of the opinion that the utilization of this scheme should be done with immediate effect so that are coal reserves are not completely depleted. Rationing of coal and petroleum reserves from now onwards is what will reduce the threat of India’s lack of energy security.

Using hydro power, solar power, wind energy and biomass energy in tandem with one another will not let the energy needs be entirely dependent on one sector alone. Also, it shall not put unbearable pressure on one sector. Till now, NTPC (National Thermal Power Corporation) has been spearheading the power generation process. Using the above proposed system shall lead to decentralization and hence, required reduction in inefficacy.

It is also said that this system does not run the threat of being exhausted. Like other forms of energy, it is not possible for us to run out of solar power or sea water. Moreover, the safety threat has also been eliminated significantly by the use of this essentially secure devises of energy generation.

Lastly, as nature has blessed us with immense amount of solar power throughout the year, consequential to this should be the decision to harness it. Emulating other countries shall not be the best policy. Different countries, with different geographies adopt different methods as per their suitability. And it’s time we adopt ours!