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India is located in the
sunny belt of the earth, thereby receiving abundant solar energy from the sun.
This solar potential exists for the most of the parts of the country. Its
equivalent energy potential is estimated at about 6,000 million Giga watt per
hour (GWh) of energy per year. The daily average global radiation varies from 5.0
(north-eastern and hilly areas) to about 7.0 (western regions and cold dessert)
kilo watt per hour per meter square (kWh/m2) area with the sunshine
hours ranging between 2300 and 3200 per year. 
Looking to these
potentials, over 120 countries residing on solar belt have launched an
International Solar Alliance to boost solar energy in developing countries
during UN Climate Change Conference in Paris in November 2015. The prime
objective is to produce renewable solar energy to reduce global warming. India
is leading the alliance, head quartered in India. Further India has ramped up
Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission from 20,000 MW to 1,00,000 MW of solar
power by 2022 1. Solar photovoltaic (PV)
is growing at a very high rate of 30% – 40% among different renewable energy.
The availability of free natural resource with matured technology and long term
reliability are some of the factors that drive solar energy production 2,3. Generation of
electricity using solar PV is picking up in India with policy support. However
it needs a clear direction such that the solar project developers optimally
utilized resources that benefit all stakeholders including land owners, local
population, farmers and project developers addressing land use efficiency and
maximizing economic, energetic and environmental returns on investments 4.Photovoltaic systems and biomass plantations require land to catch
incoming solar radiation implying that the total amount of energy that can be
obtained from these sources are limited as land is also used for food
production. The area required for both food and energy supply depends on
consumption and production per unit area which is largely diverse across the
globe 5. India is constitutionally an agrarian country where
agriculture is the backbone of its economy. Nearly 60% of India’s
population depends on agriculture for its livelihood 6.
Therefore, a vibrant and progressive agricultural sector is important to
overall growth and progress of Indian economy without
compromising target of energy generation for country’s growth.Food and energy
security are the prime issues of the world. To address both simultaneously in
an innovative way, a Dutch greenhouse system for high value crop
production was design and built using solar energy with 60% energy saving 7. India
has temperate climate with availability of sun to capture solar energy on solar
cells for energy generation and food energy through photosynthesis. How to
maximize solar efficiency on the same land has been addressed limitedly 89. Therefore
following key objectives were incorporated during implementation of solar plant
to maximize the solar energy capture on solar panels for energy generation and
executing agricultural practices through photosynthesis by growing vegetables
under solar panels for food security.1.    Photosynthesis: Plantation
of shade loving vegetables, fruits and spices plants below solar panels for
food production and thereby achieve food security. A collateral benefit of this practice was thought that solar panels would
remain cool due to moist and humid soil below panel. This keeps the temperature
of the panels 1-20C lowers than ambient temperature, allowing for
optimum power generation efficiency (figure-1).2.    Water usage efficiency:
Solar panels washing to increase solar efficiency while running off the water
on ground to irrigate the underlying vegetation.3.    CO2
sequestration: CO2 uptake by vegetation from the environment and
fixes as food energy by photosynthesis while solar radiation to electricity
generation through photovoltaic on same land (figure-2)4.    Soil improvement: Use of post
harvested residues for composting to be recycled and use as organic fertilizer.
Vegetation cover over soil surface prevents top soil layer wash off and
improves soil health. 5.    Zero discharge: Recycling of
post harvested residues for composting & cattle feed and water management
signifying end to end solution and zero discharge process. 6.    Rural development: Employment
generation potential, women empowerment and local resources utilization through
the project implementation and reduction of rural migration.

7.    Dust protection: Design of
plant layout to protect solar panel from stray animals as well as from dust carried
away by wind. Boundary of compound wall with gripper plant on outer periphery
and secondary inner boundary of Henna plantation as shown in figure-3 was
design before implementation of solar plant. Wind breaks and dust filters
through fence of Henna plantation before it reaches to solar panels. This
reduces deposition of dust on solar panel and therefore lowers frequency of
cleaning of panels using water

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