20 Sep UNDERSTANDING WHAT IS ELECTRICITY AND SOLAR ENERGY FOR KIDS
Ever wondered where this electricity comes from? The fan above your head, your air-conditioned room are all because of electricity.
Imagine a hot and sunny day, the temperature would be around 40oC, but as you are in you are A.C. room, so you are comfortable and relaxed. But, here is the twist your, electricity goes off. You will be relaxed for an hour or two or maybe three. But, then you feel frustrated and call your electricity distribution board. The message from them leaves you in shock and more frustrated i.e. due to some fault in the substation, the electricity will be cut off for the whole day. You are drenched in sweat and you move towards the refrigerator for water and suddenly you realize that the refrigerator also works from electricity. Also, the vegetables and fruits kept inside the refrigerator will not be able to handle this much temperature and that too for the whole day. How would that day be?
Relax, this was just an imagination. Now, back to our question where does this electricity come from? As of today, the major portion of electricity is generated from fossil fuels (diesel, petroleum, coal). But, if you remember the geography chapters of class 8, which told that the fossil fuels are limited and we are already using them extensively. So, if a major portion of electricity is produced from these fossil fuels, what would happen when these fossil fuels get over? If you think that these fossil fuels can be generated again, then you need to understand that the fossil fuels that we currently have are a result of 1000 and millions of years.
So what is the solution now?
If you remember, I told the major portion of electricity is made from fossil fuels. That means there is some minor portion of electricity which is generated by other means. This minor portion of electricity comes from the renewable sector.
The renewable sector includes solar, wind, hydro, biomass, etc. Currently, the renewable sector includes 23% of the total installed capacity of India. This 23% bar can be raised gradually and this minor portion can be made the major portion. This will ultimately lead to a shift from conventional sources of electricity to non-conventional renewable sources of electricity. As of policies of NEW INDIA around 60% of our electricity demand will be fulfilled by Renewable Energy Sources by 2030
Let’s talk about one of the renewable sector sources i.e. solar energy. It is free and continuously available energy reaching us directly from the sun. This solar radiation can directly be converted to electricity. At present, solar energy constitutes about 9.31% of the total installed solar capacity of India and it is growing exponentially as more and more business, residence, government bodies witness the benefits of Solar PV power.
Now a question arises in mind if it is free and available energy, then why most of the common people are not switching to solar energy for their electricity needs?
The main reason seems to be the high installation cost of a rooftop solar PV power plant. The initial installation cost for solar power is high, but this price pays for itself 50x in long term. Let us understand this with the help of an example.
Consider a kid going to a shop and buying a bar of chocolate. The shopkeeper tells the kid that the price of the chocolate is Rs. 10 for one. In addition to that, he tells a scheme to the kid that if he deposits 100 rupees, then he can take one chocolate every day for the next fifteen days.
In this example, in the latter situation, the initial investment is high but the gain is more than that of the former situation. This is how we can relate the solar equipment. The solar panel setup has an average lifespan of 25-30 years. The average lifespan should not at all be confused with the dead state of solar panels. Even after 30 years, the solar panel will continue to produce electricity, but now the production efficiency would decrease by a little.
In conclusion, I would like to add that humans tend to value those things more for which they are paying heavily and the things freely available to them are not as valuable to them. Solar energy is a free and abundant source of energy that should be used judiciously, and accessed by everyone in some form or another.