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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?
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