Power without pollution

Air pollution can have serious consequences on the health of human beings. It is considered as the major environmental risk factor in the incidence and progression of some of the deadliest diseases such as asthma, lung cancer, ventricular hypertrophy, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, psychological complications, autism, retinopathy, and fetal growth. The World Health Organization estimates that 4.6 million people die each year from causes directly attributable to air pollution.

Air pollution also ruthlessly distresses natural bio-network and ecosystems. The other deadly consequences of air pollution include global warming, acid rain, smog and ozone depletion. In India, where industrial emissions, vehicle exhausts, burning of crop residue, burning garbage, wood, and
charcoal are a standard feature of daily existence. As carbon and other greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have increased dramatically in the past few decades, the threat of climate change has also grown. It requires significant contribution by the government, business houses, industrial establishments and households to curb the air pollution levels. Perhaps, the growing evidence on the millions of deaths and the dramatic fall in life expectancy has triggered a spark to resort to renewable energy resources;
especially solar energy as it is available in abundance. Any policy that addresses the greenhouse effect must include significant development of solar energy to power a clean, powerful and sustainable economic future of the country.

Solar power is a blessing in disguise as it is a natural, renewable, carbon-free resource with enormous potential to reduce the nation’s GHG emissions. Solar power is the energy drawn from the sun and is converted to either electrical or thermal energy. It is adaptable for residential, commercial and industrial uses alike. It is considered to be one of the cleanest sources of energy because it does not emit any pollution when it is produced or consumed.

The good news is that India’s solar power potential is high as the majority of the country’s geographical area lies within the tropics. Most parts of India have 300 – 330 sunny days in a year, which is equivalent to over 5000 trillion kWh per year – more than India’s total energy consumption per year. Solar energy can be used for variety of purposes like heating, drying, cooking or electricity, which is all the more beneficial in the rural areas of India. In an energy deficient country like ours, where power generation is costly, solar energy is the best alternative means of power generation as it is inexhaustible and does not cause depletion of fossil fuels. Increasing focus of the government on solar power sector coupled with innovations in solar technology by private firms and stringent environmental pollution norms will boost demand for solar power products in India through 2024 according to a recently published report by TechSci – a leading global market research firm, New York.

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