An analysis on why solar power is the future for smart cities
Depleting fossil fuels, rising energy cost, and rampant climate change – are all connected and it is time that we take responsibility for our actions leading our planet to the brink of natural resource exhaustion. It is time to contribute towards the betterment of the eco-system, and not pollution. Developing smart cities can change global perceptions and consequently create and promote a sustainable environment that cities, states, and countries can replicate.
Today, worldwide, 68 per cent of energy comes from fossil fuels (41 per cent coal, 21 per cent gas, 5.5 per cent oil), which is creating an unstable environment and focusing on energy transition from fossil fuels to renewable sources (especially solar) through smart city development, seems a wise decision. Solar energy is easy to install, takes less space than other renewable energy solutions, is feasible, and is widely accepted.
“Globally, the market size of smart cities is estimated to grow from $312.03 billion in 2015 to $757.74 billion by 2020. Not just for homes, countries are also shifting to electric vehicles (powered by solar energy) for transport, accepting solar energy as a better resource to manage lives and environment,” believes Neha Agrawal, Head- Strategy and Planning, Vikram Solar.
Solar energy transition can provide better energy management, better transport facilities, and better waste management in cities. For example, solar energy usage can reduce and significantly reduce India’s current fossil fuel expenses ($ 277.3 billion: India’s 2014 fossil fuel subsidy bill), wherein smart cities can help save up billions that can be used for socio-economic development of the country.
However Agrawal says to make this energy transition from fossil fuels to solar energy, countries, especially India, must focus on:
- Penetration of smart meters: To be installed in houses which consume more than 200 units of electricity per month.
- Installation of renewable energy sources within the city (preferably solar).
- Construction of energy efficient (solar panel installed) buildings
- Solar street light and lamp installation
- Boost to electric vehicles– India to have 6-7 million electric vehicles by 2020 under the national electric mobility plan. Smart solar charging stations to come up like gas stations across the country.
- Solar panels equipped public transport systems like– trams, trains are being considered.
- More use of affordable storage technologies.
While sharing about why solar power is the future for smart cities Kunwer Sachdev, Managing Director, Su-Kam says, “Solar power can be regarded as the future for smart cities. It can be crucial in bridging the demand-supply gap for power. From the perspective of a consumer, it can reduce burgeoning power bills. It is an eco-friendly power and has the potential to reduce India’s carbon footprint. It will also help in employment generation thus help the country tackle the growing concerns of global warming and pollution. Solar appliances incur low maintenance cost as compared to conventional sources of energy. Fortunately, the recent government is also encouraging the use of solar energy. The government initiatives like net metering helps recovering the cost of equipment and enables customer save his electricity bills.”
Dhirendra Kannao, Director, NSOLAR Pvt Ltd also states, “Solar power plant does not emit the hazardous carbon dioxide and contributes to reduce the carbon foot print and does not add air pollution. Also the solar PV power plant installation cost is recovered in 4/5 years and this plant provides free green energy for more than 25 years. Thus the solar power is the future of smart cities.
Solar Power is a clean source of energy, there is no raw material required except solar radiation which is freely available across India. There is zero environment pollution as there is no by product in generation of solar power also. Hence, neither it causes any environmental concern for procurement of raw material like in other sources of non-renewable energy nor requires and waste nor pollution management during energy production process, believes Sushil Sarawgi, Director, Kor Energy India Pvt. Ltd. He adds, “Further solar radiation is most abundant available clean energy source in India. Hence I see solar energy always to be important part of planning and development of smart cities in India. Concept of smart cities should have self-sustainable clean energy source and zero pollution. Solar energy serves both the purpose.”
Sachdev adds, “It has already been mandated that 10 per cent of the smart cities’ energy requirement will come from solar energy and at least 80 per cent buildings should be energy efficient and green buildings. With a plan to develop approximately 100 such cities, the rate of renewable energy usage will go up in the country.”
Agreeing upon Sachdev’s view Shailesh Patni Head- Sales and Marketing, Jyotitech Solar LLP also says, “In 2016, the Indian government announced a list of 100 cities to be developed into smart cities and mandated that 10 per cent of the smart cities’ energy requirement will come from solar energy and at least 80 per cent buildings should be energy efficient and green buildings. With a plan to develop approximately 100 such cities, the rate of renewable energy usage will go up in the country.”
Su-Kam looks forward to undertaking solar initiatives in upcoming smart cities and thus ushers in a solar revolution in India.
As the concept of smart cities are for improving our living standards. Smart cities is about bringing a better management flow involving key technological, economical and even social changes. “Primarily smart cities are to manage our resources in order to manage our lives. Depleting fossil fuels, rising energy cost, and rampant climate change – are all connected and it is time that we took responsibility for leading our planet to the brink of natural resource exhaustion. It is time to contribute towards betterment of the eco-system, and not pollution. Developing smart cities can change perspectives on a larger scale, creating and promoting a sustainable environment that cities, states, and countries can follow. So with this we can infer that Solar Power in Smart Cities are about Energy Security and to have a Sustainable Energy Supply not only for today but also for future generation,” Himanshu Yadav, Director, Ultimate Sun Systems.
Smart cities are incomplete without solar power believes Pawan Agarwal, Director, Sabo Systems Pvt. Ltd. He says, “Smart city shall be eco friendly with reduced running expenses/maintenance cost, low infrastructure cost, etc. People should also be smart enough for smooth running of smart city (they should understand about usage of fossil fuels as well as solar energy). Solar energy in present day is perfect solution for all, provided it being installed considering the future not just the sake of profit making. Since, smart city is our future, hence, it cannot be completed without smart solar powered system.”
Ashish Joshi, CEO, Addin Power says, “The smart cities are the synonyms for urban development in a smart way and the solar power is a great source for improving the environment, reduction in pollution, low tariff cost, thousands of solar power based instruments which are used in day to day life and many more inventions based on solar power proves that the solar power is the very bright future for smart cities.”
As per Bhavesh Jain, CTO, Pragat Akshay Urja Ltd’s opening solar power is the only future for the smart cities and without solar power solution the cities cannot be called as smart as proclaimed.
He says, “Solar power is not only the future for smart cities but is present and the only sustainable power solution for smart as well other cities of India. The term smart is not merely a term it’s a revolution which one should understand and adapt ‘as a whole’. As per Smart City Mission of Central India urban planners ideally aim at developing the entire urban eco-system, which is represented by the four pillars of comprehensive development-institutional, physical, social and economic infrastructure. Thus the smart cities will be those which will full its electricity demands by its power solutions within their boundaries and which will not derive its power from outside .This can be only achieved by means of solar power.”
Latest offering for smart city application
Advanced lightning protection system from Sabo Systems
Sabo Systems Pvt. Ltd is offering new advanced lightning protection system which will protect area of up to 188m in radius from its installation from direct lightning strike. It complies and supersedes all Indian and international lightning standards.
Also, the company’s new Readymade Earth kits will be available for small roof top systems, houses, street lights, solar water pumps, etc.
Further, the company is also providing free training to all concerned engineers and planners for smart city projects for safeguarding the project from lightning protection and providing safety of equipment from failure as well as loss of human life by providing adequate earth systems.
As a solar PV module manufacturer and EPC solution provider, Vikram Solar identified the growing trend in rooftop almost 7 years ago. The company has commissioned rooftop solar projects in nearly 250 locations within India. It has commissioned a 100 kW installation at the Cochin International Airport, Cochin, Kerala, India in 2013. It has installed 2 MW plant at Netaji Subhash Chandra Airport. The company has also installed rooftop solar plants in educational institutions.
Currently it has commissioned and under execution rooftop solar capacity portfolio stands at 39MW (16MW Commissioned and 23MW under execution). Currently solar installations on government buildings (across 52 projects) stand as the largest share of the company’s rooftop portfolio. A telecom tower (across 40 projects) takes the second position on the list, and an educational institution (across 26 projects) is third. “Our most recent installation was a 100kW system across 2 buildings for SBI Patna,” says Agrawal.
NSOLAR Pvt Ltd offers complete turnkey solutions for solar roof top power plants of variable capacity right from planning, design, installation and maintenance of the plant. The company also offer complete indoor and outdoor lighting solution at par with the required illumination levels with least electricity consumption. It’s product range also includes, solar water heaters of different capacities, catering the 24 hours hot water requirements and solar led street lights which do not require electricity. All its products are of highest quality and are backed by efficient after sales service.
Grid tied and off grid rooftop solar power plants from KOR Energy
Kor Energy India Pvt Ltd always strives to promote clean energy solutions. For smart cities also it offers both grid tied and off grid rooftop solar power plants that will help in smart cities attaining goal of self-sustaining source of zero polluting clean energy. Apart from this the company offers other solar powered based solutions like solar street lights, solar pumping, solar water heating that will also help in achieving the same.
Grid-tie and hybrid grid-tie systems from Su-Kam
Su-Kam has come up with state- of -the -art grid-tie systems and hybrid grid-tie systems which not only fulfil the energy requirements of the home where they are installed but they also feed power back to the grid hence enabling earnings for customers as well. Hybrid –Grid tie inverter is an intelligent combination of a normal inverter and Grid Tie Inverter which can works as both off-grid and on-grid system. “This is the only system which can utilise the maximum solar power by feeding extra power to the grid when mains are available. When mains is not available, solar power can be utilised to run load and charge battery at the same time,” informs Sachdev.
Su-Kam is also playing an instrumental role in inculcating awareness among people about solar energy. To this effect, the company organises solar training workshops across the country. It is in line with government’s ambitious target of preparing a skilled and industry -ready workforce to fulfil the target of 100000 MW of solar power by 2022. Su-Kam has also established a Centre for Smart Solar Energy at Manav Rachna University in 2016. Keeping in mind that an educational institute is a perfect place for conducting training that will help youth to explore alternate sources of energy, the center has been provided with state-of-the-art equipment and witnesses a flurry of activities related to instrumentation, control and optimisation of various energy systems. We also have a dedicated Youtube channel geared to promote solar education. It has over 30,000 subscribers.
High efficiency solar PV modules from Jyotitech
Jyotitech Solar is contributing to the development of smart cities by manufacturing high efficiency 37Wp-330Wp solar PV modules which are being used for applications like-
- Grid-connected solar PV rooftops in residential, commercial, industrial, institutional buildings including airport, ports, railway stations, metro rails etc.
- Utility-scale solar PV power plants for power generation.
- Solar pumps for water pumping used in irrigation and drinking water projects.
- Solar street lighting systems.
“We are working on solar power park hence might be able to supply power to smart cities to the extent of their whole consumption through PPA model,” says Ashish Joshi, CEO, Addin Power.
Our most recent installation was a 100kW system across 2 buildings for SBI Patna.
Neha Agrawal, Head- Strategy and Planning, Vikram Solar
It has already been mandated that 10 per cent of the smart cities’ energy requirement will come from solar energy.
Kunwer Sachdev, Managing Director, Su-Kam
Solar power plant does not emit the hazardous carbon dioxide and contributes to reduce the carbon foot print and does not add air pollution.
Dhirendra Kannao, Director, NSOLAR Pvt Ltd
Concept of smart cities should have self-sustainable clean energy source and zero pollution. Solar energy serves both the purpose.
Sushil Sarawgi, Director, Kor Energy India Pvt
We are working on solar power park hence might be able to supply power to smart cities to the extent of their whole consumption through PPA model.
Ashish Joshi, CEO, Addin Power Ltd
With a plan to develop approximately 100 such cities, the rate of renewable energy usage will go up in the country.
Shailesh Patni Head- Sales and Marketing, Jyotitech Solar LLP
Solar Power in Smart Cities are about Energy Security and to have a Sustainable Energy Supply not only for today but also for future generation.
Himanshu Yadav, Director, Ultimate Sun Systems
Solar power is not only the future for smart cities but is present and the only sustainable power solution for smart as well other cities of India.
Bhavesh Jain, CTO, Pragat Akshay Urja Ltd
Solar energy in present day is perfect solution for all, provided it being installed considering the future not just the sake of profit making.
Pawan Agarwal, Director, Sabo Systems Pvt. Ltd