Thursday, October 17, 2013

ENERGY SECURITY: THE MAGIC OF SOLAR ENERGY FOR CHANDIGARH

Chandigarh with its controlled and uniform skyline and vast spaces of parks is potentially one of the most suitable cities to realize its energy security through the magic of solar energy. Recently the government of India has proposed to develop it as a "Solar City". Based on the analysis of potential for demand side measures along with that of supply side augmentation through renewable energy technologies, the following targets are proposed for Chandigarh in order to develop it as a “Solar City”. The concept of Solar Cities  is being taken up all over our globe as humanity is aware of deleterious effects of global warming and fast depletion of fossil fuels. The government of India has also come up with a plan to develop 60 solar cities, Chandigarh being one of them. Looking at the potential of solar energy in a planned city like Chandigarh the targets set are minuscule and a lot more can be done and achieved in this endeavor. The targets set in the master plan are mentioned in the table below.

          Targets for energy conservation, generation and greenhouse gas emission reduction
Through Solar Power Generation

 Energy Conservation                                 Reduction in present energy consumption
                                                               
                                                                  Short Term         Medium Term               Long Term
                                                                  (till 2012)           (till 2015)                      (till 2018)
1.1 Residential sector                                    10%                  15%                            20%
1.2 Commercial sector                                  10%                  15%                            20%
1.3 a Municipal sector                                   1.5%                 3.0%                           4%
        (Water pumping)
1.3 a Municipal sector                                   1.5%                 3.0%                           4%
        (Street lighting)                                    
 2. Coverage of solar water  heating systems  10%                  25%                           45%
(as a proportion of total heating demand
in residential and commercial sectors)

Solar Power Generation

3. Roof Top solar energy based                       2.5 MW          5.0 MW                    10.0 MW
   electricity generation
4. Large solar energy based                            3.0 MW          5.0 MW                     5.0 MW
    electricity generation at Landfill site
5. Large solar energy based                             5.0 MW          15.0 MW                  25.0 MW
   electricity generation at
   Patiyala ki Rao site

Greenhouse gas emission (GHG )
reduction (tCO2/annum)                               90973               214051                   214051

Chandigarh is a city with an area of about 110 Sq. Kms with an electricity demand of about 300 MW with major demand coming from residential and commercial sector like any urban conglomerate.Architectural controls with a uniform skyline with a design concept of row houses, commercial buildings, schools and offices in a vast majority of cases make it a juicy candidate for realizing full potential of solar power through individual and community/cooperative solar power generation. In fact the city can on its own meet more than 75% of its energy needs through a solar revolution utilizing all  roof tops and non usable waste lands. In the bargain a significant GHG reduction of about 1 million tCO2/annum  will be achieved. Add to it the benefits of small transmission infrastructure accompanied by low maintenance costs and losses and solar results in a win win solution for all times to come.