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Sun­light is om­nipresent. Why then cen­tralise such well-dis­trib­uted en­ergy into a multi-megawatt so­lar farm, and re­dis­tribute it, los­ing 25 per cent in trans­mis­sion?

Electronics For You - - Solar -

Dis­trib­uted so­lar and wind en­ergy gen­er­a­tion can elim­i­nate the need for in­ef­fi­cient ‘cen­tral’ so­lar and wind farms that are typ­i­cally owned and op­er­ated by large elec­tric util­ity com­pa­nies. Small so­lar power plant can be lo­cally owned by qual­i­fied small or medium en­ter­prises (SMES). These will also help to cre­ate much needed lo­cal em­ploy­ment.

Dis­trib­uted power plants can cater well to the elec­tri­cal power needs of a clus­ter of vil­lages, en­sur­ing power gen­er­a­tion at the point of con­sump­tion, with zero trans­mis­sion losses. Western coun­tries, in fact, are plan­ning for power self-suf­fi­cient com­mu­ni­ties based on lo­cally avail­able re­new­able en­ergy sources.

Dis­trib­uted power projects di­rectly ben­e­fit the con­sumers and it makes great sense to set up these even where power grid has not reached.

If the grid is avail­able, small power plants with 5-300kw ca­pac­ity can feed the en­ergy gen­er­ated at a low voltage into a lo­cal sub­sta­tion. This lo­cally gen­er­ated power will first feed the lo­cal loads and the ex­cess will go else­where, en­sur­ing use of full power gen­er­a­tion ca­pac­ity of the plant. Dis­trib­uted power plants also have very lit­tle green­house gas emis­sions.

Lo­cally avail­able re­new­able en­ergy projects can de­liver in just a cou­ple of months com­pared to two to three years typ­i­cally as­so­ci­ated with larger-scale de­vel­op­ments, and prob­a­bly at a much lesser cost.

Why then cen­tralise such well-dis­trib­uted en­ergy into a multi-megawatt so­lar or wind farm, and re­dis­tribute it, los­ing 25 per cent in trans­mis­sion? Fur­ther, why use large and ex­pen­sive

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