Describe the benefits of deriving electric energy from sunlight in contrast to the conventional energy generation. What are the initiatives offered by our Government for this purpose? (250 words)

There are several benefits of generating electric energy from sunlight compared to conventional energy generation methods. Some of these benefits include:

  • Solar energy is a natural and freely available source of energy.
  • Solar energy is a clean form of energy, as it does not result in pollution or emit greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming.
  • Solar energy is available during peak consumption periods, typically from 10 AM to 6 PM.
  • Solar energy can reduce transmission and distribution losses associated with traditional electricity transmission lines.
  • Solar energy has low maintenance costs, as it does not have any moving parts that can wear out.
  • Solar energy has the potential for decentralized production through off-grid plants, which is important for remote areas where traditional energy lines may not be economically feasible.
  • Solar energy can be produced on barren or low agricultural productivity land, rather than taking up already pressured agricultural or forest land.
  • Solar energy has diverse applications, including water distillation, powering small electronic devices, and large-scale electricity generation.

In order to accelerate solar energy generation in India, the government has taken a number of initiatives. Some of these initiatives include:

  • The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) is the nodal agency responsible for the development of India’s renewable energy sector.
  • The MNRE has established institutions such as the National Institute of Solar Energy and the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency to promote research and development and provide loans for renewable energy projects.
  • The MNRE has released policy guidelines and frameworks, such as the National Wind-Solar Hybrid Policy and the Guidelines for Tariff Based Competitive Bidding Process, to promote solar and wind energy.
  • The MNRE has implemented schemes and projects to achieve its target of 100 GW of solar energy by 2022, including the Solar Park scheme, Viability Gap Funding schemes, the Canal bank/Canal Top Scheme, and the KUSUM scheme.
  • The MNRE has also launched programs to support capacity building and skill development in the solar energy sector, as well as initiatives to encourage domestic production and reduce import dependence.

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