Page 54

energetica-india-57_asiapowerweek

umes of water, a failure due to poor construction, or other cause can be catastrophic to downriver settlements and infrastructure. Dam failures have been some of the largest man-made disasters in history. • Hydro energy can only be built in particular places though enough of those places exist globally. • The time to construct a large hydro power project can take between 5-10 years which leads to time and cost overruns. Biomass energy: • Burning biomass can result in air pollution. When burned, it gives off atmospheric pollutants, including greenhouse gases. • One of the main detractors to the use of biofuels is that setting aside land for biofuel crops means less land for food production. • While some consider their use “carbon neutral,” the machinery required to farm the plants for biofuels does create carbon emissions, this machinery is also typically not powered by biofuels. • Current availability of fuel obtained from plants that can be used as economical energy practically is limited. • Research and development activities are needed to develop plants that could provide suitable fuels economically and in sufficient quantities. • It also seems unethical to use crops for biofuel when global hunger is an ever present problem. • One of the biggest drawbacks of biomass energy is the problem of feedstock. The plants are forced to run at lower utilization leading to higher costs if feedstock is not available due to some reason like a drought. • The operations of a biomass plant require very good management otherwise it may run into losses or even in some cases have to shut down. It requires a skill of high order to run the plant optimally and make use of alternative feedstock in case the regular one is not available • Biomass Energy has smaller potential than compared to other forms of energy like solar, hydro etc. • Setting up of large biomass plants always run into massive protests as people think it might lead to air pollution and health hazards if constructed near their homes. Solar energy: • Solar energy has intermittency issues; not shining at night but also during daytime there may be cloudy or rainy weather. • At the very least, we need batteries to store electricity produced by solar panels for use sometime later. With storage, solar power could theoretically supply the world with all of its electricity needs. • Consequently, intermittency and unpredictability of solar energy makes solar energy panels less reliable a solution. • Solar energy panels require additional equipment (inverters) to convert direct electricity (DC) to alternating electricity (AC) in order to be used on the power network. • For a continuous supply of electric power, especially for on-grid connections, photovoltaic panels require not only inverters but also storage batteries; thus increasing the investment cost for PV panels considerably. • In case of land-mounted PV panel installations, they require relatively large areas for deployment; usually the land space is committed for this purpose for a period of 15-20 years • – or even longer. Not suitable for crowded residential areas and deterrent for agricultural land also. • Solar panels efficiency levels are relatively low. Even todays most efficient solar cells only convert just over 20% of the suns rays to electricity. • · Besides their low conversion efficiency, solar panels can be a substantial initial investment. • The initial cost of installing the equipment can be quite high. • Though PV panels have no considerable maintenance or operating costs, they are fragile and can be damaged relatively easily; additional insurance costs are therefore of ultimate importance to safeguard a PV investment. • Solar power is subject to the effects of pollution. Pollution in the air can limit the amount of sun that reaches the solar panels. Wind energy: • It is very unpredictable since wind force can range from calm to hurricaneforce. This makes it very difficult to generate a steady supply of electricity. Wind turbines fall mercy to local wind patterns. For this reason, areas in which wind is not very strong, or very frequent, may not benefit from the construction of wind power facilities. • A wind farm running 24 hours a day can sound like a beehive on steroids and wind turbines can be very noisy at peak power. There have been a large number of complaints about the persistent level of low level noise from the whirring of the blades of a wind tur- RENEWABLE ENERGY 54 energetica INDIA · MAY | JUN16


energetica-india-57_asiapowerweek
To see the actual publication please follow the link above