MOEF no­ti­fi­ca­tion wel­comed by so­lar play­ers

Electronics For You - - Solar -

In May 2011, the Min­istry of En­vi­ron­ment and Forests (MOEF) no­ti­fied that no en­vi­ron­men­tal clear­ance is re­quired for so­lar PV power projects. The no­ti­fi­ca­tion came af­ter the Min­istry of New and Re­new­able En­ergy (MNRE) took up this is­sue with MOEF.

The no­ti­fi­ca­tion stated that so­lar PV power projects are not cov­ered un­der the am­bit of EIA no­ti­fi­ca­tion, 2006, and no en­vi­ron­ment clear­ance is re­quired for such projects.

Although the en­vi­ron­men­tal ex­perts are con­cerned about this move, so­lar play­ers have all the rea­sons to re­joice. In the ab­sence of such clear­ance, banks or other fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions have al­ways been ap­pre­hen­sive about lend­ing to these de­vel­op­ers. Hence the in­dus­try has wel­comed this clar­i­fi­ca­tion, as it will help de­vel­op­ers get fund­ing as well as com­plete their projects in time. How­ever, projects com­ing up in for­est ar­eas will have to ap­ply for for­est clear­ance from MOEF.

In­dus­try’s re­sponse. Ex­perts be­lieve that there is an ur­gent need to at­tend to this prob­lem since water is a scarce re­source. There is a need to lay down nor­ma­tive water use and man­age­ment stan­dards for so­lar plants.

So­lu­tions to curb Pv-linked pol­lu­tion

Though so­lar cells are far from be­ing a zero­emis­sion tech­nol­ogy, this does not mean that PV so­lar en­ergy should not be pro­moted. En­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion is a global con­cern, so man­u­fac­tur­ers should pay at­ten­tion to re­duc­ing or curb­ing the pol­lu­tion lev­els by fol­low­ing in­ter­na­tional stan­dards and pro­to­cols when a sys­tem’s to­tal car­bon foot­print is cal­cu­lated. A few so­lu­tions in­clude:

Us­ing the abate­ment sys­tem. As al­ready pointed out, PV man­u­fac­tur­ing pro­cesses pro­duce haz­ardous solid byprod­ucts and waste gases. These pro­cesses pro­duce a mix­ture of toxic, re­ac­tive, ig­nitable and cor­ro­sive gases. In or­der to curb en­vi­ron­men­tal pol­lu­tion, haz­ardous gases need to be treated be­fore be­ing re­leased into the at­mos­phere or water sys­tems.

There are a num­ber of so­lar cell tech­nolo­gies in use, some of which em­ploy haz­ardous ma­te­ri­als as ba­sic con­stituents. The unutilised, non­con­sumed or un­re­acted gases ( for ex­am­ple, in sil­i­con-based tech­nol­ogy, which uses gas) can be passed through an abate­ment sys­tem that works with the ‘dry’ or ‘wet’ method. This would help in neu­tral­is­ing the harm­ful ef­fects of toxic gases.

Ex­plain­ing the process, Biju P.C., man­ager, sales and mar­ket­ing, Emmvee Pho­to­voltaic Power, says, “In the dry process, the flammable gases are burnt with an ex­ter­nal sup­ply of gases like liq­uid petroleum gas (LPG) or meth­ane to form a non-re­ac­tive ash. Here, the prod­uct is an ox­ide of sil­i­con, which can be reused in the brick or glass in­dus­try. In the wet method, an ex­ter­nal aid of other chem­i­cals is re­quired along with a mix­ture of water, which forms a non-re­ac­tive slurry of

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