THURSDAY 02 AUGUST, 2012 |
India's Massive Blackout Proves Solar Energy's Mettle
In what has been described as the world's largest blackout event, solar panels
again proved their worth.
India is plagued by electricity shortages, due in part to massive demand on
ageing and inadequate infrastructure. Some of the increased demand isn't just
attributable to a growing population, but how the population utilises power -
for example, the popularity of energy hungry air-conditioners
The country's hydro-electric stations are also suffering due to a poor monsoon
season and coal is in short supply in some areas.
While regular blackouts are a part of life in many of the nation's regions, an
incident on Tuesday set a new and unenviable record when over 600 million people
simultaneously found themselves without mains power - the equivalent to
nearly 55 times the population of Australia.
The event occurred just after Monday’s failure of India's northern grid, which
left 370 million people without electricity.
The nation's capital, New Delhi, was not spared. Some forms of public transport
ground to a halt and the financial impact on businesses is said to be in the
hundreds of millions of dollars.
However, the New York Times points
some of India's "energy poor" were winners during the events.
Many households in affected rural areas had the lights stay on thanks to their small
grid solar power
systems that incorporate deep
With the possibility of another such event occurring, decentralized
using renewable energy sources will likely gain even more
attention in India.
The nation already has ambitious goals for solar power; having set a target of 20,000MW
of installed solar capacity by 2022.
The nation's grid-connected solar energy capacity had reached 1030.66 MW at the end of June
and off-grid solar panel system capacity (1kW+) was estimated to be 85.21 MW.
Image credit: mckaysavage
Other news for Thursday 02 August, 2012
Return to main renewable energy news section
Other Energy Matters News Services