Non-Conventional Sources of Energy in India
The importance of increasing the use of non-conventional or renewable power was recognized in India in the early 1970’s. There are four major areas of renewable energy being tapped for power generation. These are solar energy, wind energy, Biomass and small hydro.
1. Solar Energy: Solar energy in India is utilized thorough Photo-voltaic route and Thermal route. Solar Photo-voltaic (SPV) technology enables the conversion of solar radiation into electricity without involving any moving part like turbine, etc. A BHEL made SPV battery charging system was successfully used in the Indian Antarctic stations at Dakshin Gangotri and Maitri. The Biswanath Rail station in the Bangalore Chennai section is being served by solar energy based electricity.
2. Biomass: Power generating systems based on biomass combustion as well as biomass gasification were launched in different centers in India.
3. Wind Energy: Wind Energy is being used for power generation. A wind generator has been installed to operate a lighthouse at Kanai Creek, Gujarat. The electric generator which gives a power output of 300 watts has been installed on an eighteen meter high tower. Wind farms of a total capacity of 7-5 mw were installed in the coastal areas of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Orissa. At Lamba in Gujarat a wind farm of 10 mw capacity, the largest in Asia has been commissioned. Kappata hills in Karnataka are the windiest site in India. Wind velocity here is between 28 km and 30 km per hour. The site is ideal for wind farms.
4. Geothermal Energy: Geothermal Energy occurs in the form of hot springs. Parbati valley in Himachal Pradesh and Puga valley in Jammu and Kashmir are the two prospective geothermal energies potential. A cold storage plant based on geothermal energy at Manikaran, Kullu district, Himachal Pradesh is functioning.
5. Energy from Urban and Industrial Waste: Energy from Urban waste plant under construction at Timarpur in Delhi will generate 3,745 mw of power from 300 tons per day of municipal solid waste. The project for generation of 6 mw power from bagasse at a co-operative sugar mill Tamil Nadu has been undertaken.