HERE COMES THE SUN
Thirty-seven years ago, as a property insurance surveyor, I felt the need of some education and enrolled in a short-course on industrial chemical processes at theImperialCollege,London. Another reason was an Air India ad showing a newly-acquired Boeing 747 under the heading Here Comes the Sun and offering return ticket to JFK via Heathrow from one of the four Indian metros for (take a deep breath) Rs. 4k! The Brits thought that I was going there to snatch a job from one of their compatriots and refused entry. So, I registered for a seminar on fire protection engineering at theUniversityofMarylandand went to the U.S. of A.
This blog is not meant to be a record of my scholastic efforts, but the tribute is to the Sun, under whose benign and at times not so benign rays the universe, correction multi-verse functions. And this omnipresent and omniscient god of energy and light holds the key to a pollution-free and climate-friendly source of inexhaustible energy. Yes, you guessed it right, we’ve now veered to a discussion of photovoltaic panels, mankind’s (and womankind’s) respectful offering to sun god so as to tap some of his shakti.
A recent article in The Economist says…”Solar energy is at a delicate, maybe historic moment. The cost of the glassy photovoltaic panels that generate most solar electricity-by freeing electrons from a semiconducting material such as silicon-is plummeting. In the past four years their average cost has fallen by more than 75%. At less than $1 per watt of generating capacity, solar is now the cheapest power source in some sunny places, especially those, likeIndia, that lack fossil-fuelled alternatives. This is starting to look like a revolution. Everyone who wants a reliable and nonpolluting energy supply…would welcome that.”
Apparently, solar energy is not that exotic inIndia. A few days ago,Gujaratchief minister Narendra Modi opened a photo-voltaic array generating around 600MW. So, what’s stopping other sun-baked states ofIndiafrom taking Recourse to this renewable form of energy generation?