Call for tapping solar power

The Hindu, Friday, Mar 19, 2004

TIRUNELVELI, MARCH 18 . The gap between demand and supply of quality power is steadily widening as the need for power increases by nine per cent every year, the adviser, Ministry of Non-Conventional Energy Sources, E. V. R. Sastry, said. Inaugurating a business meeting on `solar water heating systems and building plan regulations in municipalities' here on Monday, in which officials from the Ministry of Non-Conventional Energy Sources, manufacturers of solar water heating appliances and representatives of local bodies participated, he said the ever-growing demand had resulted in power-cuts in rural areas and industrial houses too suffered a lot owing to the disruption in the supply of quality power. The only way out was a meticulous tapping of the solar power as the sun produced everyday 1,000 times more than the global power.

He suggested that the entire population of the country, which was advantageously located in a sunny belt, use the solar energy even at micro-level in the daily life as this `free of cost' energy had a range of applications. "If we use 1,000 solar water heaters in a district, it will be equivalent to producing 1 MW of electricity and if the State ensures the installation of one million solar water heaters in its territory, it will save 1,000 MW of electricity," Dr. Sastry said. He also appealed to representatives of the local bodies to strictly adopt the by-law on giving provision to the solar water heating systems in the building plan itself, as it would fetch the local body up to Rs. 10 lakh as an incentive from the Union Government.

The Director, Ministry of Non-Conventional Energy Sources, P. Radhakrishna, the Commissioner, Tirunelveli Corporation, D. Chandrasekaran, the Assistant General Manager, Canara Bank, Tirunelveli, B. Ravi Ramachandran and others spoke.