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Renewable Energy Sources

Updated: Apr 30

Renewable energy is extracted from nature i.e. sunlight, wind, rain, tides, waves, and geothermal heat. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) guards the work related to Renewable Energy Sources. Along with various advantages like being environment-friendly, reliable, and economical, it also has many disadvantages such as dependency on weather conditions, large initial investments, and unavailability in large amounts.

Let’s flip through different Renewable Energy Sources:


Renewable Energy Sources

Solar Energy

Solar energy is when we harness energy and electricity from the heat and light from the sun. Bharat, between tropical cancer and the equator, has an average temperature of 25-27 degrees, gives approximately 300 sunny days, and has much potential for the generation of Solar Energy. Solar Energy Utilization has different ways: Photosynthesis, Solar Energy into Thermal Energy, Concentrated Solar Thermal Systems, and Photovoltaic Cells. 

Ongrid and Offgrid System of Solar Power

  • Ongrid: Systems that generate power only when the utility power grid is available are called Ongrid systems. The system is connected to the home's main force, i.e. whenever solar power is less, home direct power can be used.

  • Offgrid: Systems that allow you to store your solar power in batteries are called off-grid. In this, you can use these batteries when you are out of power or not on the grid. 

The government runs several missions for Solar Energy, whose details you can find in our next article. 


Wind Energy

Electricity produced by wind through wind turbines is called Wind energy. The turbine blades with specific properties like aerodynamics show efficient results when mounted at least 100 feet from the ground. The minimum and maximum speed that can be used for electricity generation is 8 km/hr and 36-54 km/hr. Through a tool called a wind vane, the speed of the wind can be checked. Wind energy has the lowest gestation period, requires less time to set up, has minimal running expenses, requires less maintenance, and is a clean and safe energy source.

Globally, China has the maximum wind power generation capacity but America has the maximum wind energy generation. In India, Tamil Nadu has 29% of India’s total wind power capacity, and hence in 1985, the Tamil Nadu Energy Development Agency (TEDA) was set up there. Some other states with wind energy plants are Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Rajasthan.


Geothermal Energy

The energy that can be generated using the heat received from Earth in the form of steam of rocks, underground water, or magma is called Geothermal Energy. The geothermal field is usually available at a depth of around 80 km and at 300m to 3000m in some places. There are three types of Geothermal Power Plants: (i) Dry Steam Power Plant, (ii) Flash Steam Power Plant, (iii) Binary Cycle Power Plant

This clean source of energy is frequently used to heat buildings, grow plants in greenhouses, fry crops, heat water in fish farms, and for various industrial purposes such as pasteurizing milk. India has a potential of 10,000 Megawatts of Geothermal energy. It has around 300 sites, the most efficient being Tattapani in Himachal Pradesh.


Ocean Energy

Oceans cover 70% area of the whole earth and hence are a great source of energy collectors. The ocean's energy is generated by thermal energy from the sun's heat and mechanical energy from tides and waves. We can tap this energy in three ways:

  1. Tidal Energy

  2. Wave Energy

  3. Ocean Thermal Energy

Some potential locations in India to gather Ocean Energy are the Gulf of Cambay and the Gulf of Kachchh on the west coast and the Ganges Delta in the Sunderbans in West Bengal.


Hydro Energy

The energy generated after capturing flowing water, for which dams and water reservoirs are mostly used, is called Hydro Power. India stands in 7th position globally for generating Hydroelectricity. India’s Darjeeling (1898) and Shivanasamudra (1902) hydropower plants were among the first in Asia. According to the installation capacity they are classified into 3 classes:

  • Micro (up to 100 KW)

  • Mini (up to 101 KW to 2MW)

  • Small (2 MW to 25 MW)

  • Mega (more than 500 MW)


Biomass Energy

Biomass Energy can be classified into:

  • Solid Biomass: includes organic, non-fossil material of biological origins

  • Biogas: methane and carbon dioxide that is produced by anaerobic digestion of biomass

  • Liquid Biofuels: bio-based liquid fuel from biomass transformation

  • Municipal Waste: wastes produced by the residential, commercial, and public service sectors


Renewable Energy Sources

References:

  1. https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Schematic-diagram-of-a-typical-solar-PV-system_fig1_349067990

  2. https://powerzone.clarkpublicutilities.com/learn-about-renewable-energy/biomass-energy/

  3. https://www.britannica.com/technology/wind-turbine

  4. https://www.velatia.com/en/blog/what-is-hydropower-and-how-does-it-work/

  5. https://www.linquip.com/blog/the-ultimate-overview-of-wave-energy-diagram/ 

  6. https://greenesa.com/blog/geothermal-energy-types-uses-advantages

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