How Karnataka can benefit from Solar Power

How Karnataka can benefit from Solar Power

The demand for Electric power in India is increasing by the day. In Karnataka too, the demand is more than the generation of power. That there are...

The demand for Electric power in India is increasing by the day. In Karnataka too, the demand is more than the generation of power. That there are continuous power cuts through the day in villages is no news.

As on today, 90 % of hydro-electric energy is already commissioned and a little power can be added to the grid from rivers like Kaveri, Beadthi, Aghanashini etc, but there will be a lot of impact on Environment.

The alternate is thermal power. In our state, more than three thousand megawatts is already added to the grid. But in the thermal plant, there is a lot of impact on environment and disposal of bottom ash and fly ash is the main problem.

Also as per the today’s statistics, the availability of coal in India is only for two hundred fifty years. Hence the alternate is only solar and wind power. For solar power lot of space is required, as a thumb rule commission of one megawatt requires 3 acres of land and it will be difficult to get from the farmers.

In Karnataka a number of rivers flow in various Districts and water will be full in the rainy season and dry in the summer season. As a lot of space is available on the banks of the river, this Government land can be utilized for solar power by constructing column foundation and every 5 kilometers in the river bed 10 megawatts of solar power can be installed and may be increased depending on the space availability.

Just by the solar power plant, a Jack Well can be constructed and 3 to 4, 3000 meter cube per hour river water pump can be installed as 6.6 Kilovolts auxiliary power is available there itself. During the rainy season, the water can be lifted and can be used for agriculture and all tanks can be filled and new tanks can also be constructed for storage of water. As such ground water can be available in summer season. The excess power can be connected to nearby Master Unit Substation. Also, solar panels can be installed at the upstream of major dams.

For the solar plant, the major component is a solar cell. For these solar cells [semiconductors] the major raw materials are silica and little quantity of boron, phosphorus, and titanium oxide. For this, huge quantity of fine silica is available in Kolar Gold Fields and Hutti gold mines which are extracted from Golden ore. Hence, manufacturing units can be set up near Kolar Gold Fields and Hutti gold mines for the manufacture of [semiconductors] and solar panels. For this, technical know-how [Databank] can be imported from other countries like Germany and China. Hence with the manufacture of semiconductors and solar panels in our country, import duty also can be minimized.

The Karnataka government can think regarding the above scheme. The investigation, construction, commission and maintenance of solar plant and pump house can be entrusted to the Karnataka Power corporation as there are expert engineers in the organization and also Karnataka Power corporation is a profitable organization, the transfer of funds is not a problem, or otherwise after investigation it can be entrusted to private entrepreneurs.

By Lakshmana Rao Batni

The author is Retired Executive Director, KPC

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