The World’s Largest Solar PV Array

While the United Kingdom’s renewable energy sector is losing business, due to uncertainty about government policy and the administration’s poor understanding of renewable energy the renewable energy sector in India looks as though it will become increasing prosperous and increasing important to the economic development of India. India, taking the lead of the developed economies, has (probably wrongly) decided to invest in solar energy which produces electricity. It does not have much investment in thermal solar, that produces hot water, heat and cooling, but Indian companies have built photovoltaic plants which export PV panels and now India has decided to put some government support to what will be the world’s largest array of PV panels producing electricity.

The Department of Heavy Industries in India has decided to pilot a project which hopes to generate 4,000MW on 23,000 acres of land which is located in desert like land 75 kilometres south of Jaipur in Rajasthan. There are good economic reasons for developing renewable electricity in India; the electricity produced is cheap and tariffs have reduced by more than half in the past few years. In India 80% of companies expect to get 15% of their power from renewable sources in the next three years.

No similar survey has, to my knowledge, been carried out in the United Kingdom but if it were I guess that 20% of UK companies must expect to get 1% of their power from renewable sources in the next few years.

In the United Kingdom, where wind and photovoltaic energy is over subsidised a project to locate the world’s largest array of wind turbines off the coast of North Devon has been, it seems, abandoned. Apparently investigations showed that the turbines would have to be built on the wrong kind of sub sea rock, which would make them to be much more expensive than anticipated and make the project unprofitable, even with the benefit of massive government subsidies.

Both India and the United Kingdom fail to understand the importance of micro generation – providing heat and electricity on small scales so that households and businesses can generate some of the energy that they need. Governments of all nations like big and grandiose projects; the bigger the better and they generally equate size with quality. In doing so they ignore that fact that small is not only beautiful but also extremely useful.

The world’s carbon dioxide emissions are, when traced back to end users, are at high levels because of the actions and habits of seven billion people on this planet. Each person and each household can by using micro generation save a great deal of those emissions but governments do not enact policies which enable them so to do. It is time for a sea change in energy policy in all nations.


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