Consistently deteriorating air quality is a serious issue brought on by fossil fuel usage. Not only developing countries but, even developed countries cannot seem to get out of this bind, since they share the environment with rest of the world. Cities of the world that are spewing most of the fumes are- Zabol (Iran), Gwalior (India), Allahabad (India), Riyadh (Saudi Arabia), Al Jubail (Saudi Arabia) etc. Within 2016, 6.5 million people suffered and lost their lives due to air pollution and contaminants. Increasing air pollution has great impact on children as well, which is clearly indicated through the raise in children mortality rate (stood at 1.7 million in 2016).
Global relative losses of wheat due to air pollutants is estimated to be 7%–12% and reducing in rice production stands at 3%–4%. Cities like Los Angeles, and London have also suffered from increasing sir pollution during 1940–1960. However, USA has made great strides in changing the scenario for its cities and created regulatory framework, institutional mechanisms, and policy interventions that have proven to bring down pollution easily.
Although, renewable energy growth (especially solar) has been incredible in India, the country is still the third-largest oil consumer in the world (4.14/million barrels per day, 4% share of the world total). It is understandable that Indian solar industry still hasn’t grown large enough to phase out conventional energy usage and satisfy country’s growing energy demand (Installed solar capacity ~16.6 GW out of total energy generation capacity 330 GW). Therefore, the country needs a balance between conventional and renewable energy to sustain present energy requirements at hand. And continuous fall in crude oil prices from FY 12-13 to FY 15-16 allowed the country to import crude oil at a profitable margin.
However, the current rise in crude oil prices (from $39.9 in April 2016 to $52.7 in December 2016) and predictions of continuity in price hike highlights addition of forex outflow and reiterates the importance of solar energy growth.
Solar industry is growing globally and the year 2017 has been the year of expansion for solar. China led the growth spectrum by adding 52 GW of new solar installations in 2017, while US (12.5 GW), India (~6 GW), Japan (5.8 GW), Germany (2.2 GW) took positions respectively. Australia, South Korea, Chile, and Turkey also became GW markets in 2017 stepping into competition for solarisation.
With awareness growing and more developing countries investing in the renewable energy mix, 2018 is estimated to bring in huge opportunities, forwarding solar revolution to new heights.
The world has already accepted renewable energy (especially solar) as future mainstream energy instead of fossil fuels. And now global energy moves show an interesting pattern that highlights global intent of utilizing the solar energy through engineering innovation.
To make a positive change in the energy scenario, the world really needs more focus on rapid solarisation. And floating solar is a successful attempt to achieve that purpose.
The Inception and Potential
The first floating solar plant was installed in Korea on Geumgwang reservoir in Anseong, Gyeonggi Province in 2014. The plant had a 465 kW energy generation capacity and consisted of 1,600 solar modules. The inception brought insight on the benefits of such installations. And in 2015, Japan announced the installation of then largest floating solar plant, comprising of 9,000 solar panels. However, within 2016, a much bigger installation of floating solar plant (consisting of 23,000 panels) was inaugurated on Thames, capable of producing 6.3 MW energy.
In our pursuit for convenience and better life, we have gone a long way making inventions and innovations that make our lives comfortable, no doubt; but it also ruins the environment we live in. Operating on fossil fuel, most of the latest inventions pose serious threats to the climate, which is changing rapidly, thus affecting the existence of mankind on this planet. Continue reading