This is the era which encompasses everything that is smart – whether they are smartphones, smart people or ‘smart city’. A Smart City is an advanced urban city or town that has well- connected infrastructure and communication through data centres and automated networks. India is expecting to develop 98 such cities in all. These cities will become a role model for ultra- modern and energy-saving living.
Role of solar energy in smart cities in India
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. Solar applications such as solar street lights, solar water heaters, rooftop solar etc, which run on Solar energy can go a long way in providing a clean and green living environment in these smart cities.
Solar energy can play a big role in creating Smart cities. Major benefits of this source of energy are:
Renewable resource: Solar energy is a renewable source of energy as it can produce electricity as long as the sun exists. It is never ending source and energy can be harnessed by installing solar panels that can reduce our dependency on non- renewable sources of energy.
Eco-friendly: It is an alternative to fossil fuels as it is non-polluting, clean, reliable and renewable source of energy. It does not release harmful gases like carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide or sulphur oxide. So, the risk of damage to the environment is reduced. Solar energy is produced from the Sun; therefore, it doesn’t require transportation of fuel or storage of radioactive waste.
Reduced electricity bill: Interestingly the solar energy minimizes the utility bills. By installing solar panels in the houses, the cost of electricity cuts down. Solar energy can be used for activities like heating water and heating homes. This has the potential to save up to 20 per cent of the energy costs.
Easy to maintain: The cost of installing a solar panel is high, but once it is installed the benefits can be enjoyed for years with minimal maintenance. As per the needs, panels can always be added which would not require a lot of finance. These panels are noiseless and do not release any toxic substances.
Installation: Solar panels can be easily installed anywhere as they do not require any wires, cords or power sources. Solar panels are mostly installed on the rooftops, therefore no new space is required for these panels.
Remote locations: Solar energy can be produced in remotest of the areas, which means it can be installed in areas where power lines would be difficult to place. Thus, helping in placement of solar panels in remotest of the areas in India.
Looking at the benefits of Solar energy, it can be said that though Smart cities will pave a way for new India but utilization and installation of solar energy in these cities will definitely play a major role in creating a new India.
G. S. Marjara, Business Head
Future Hi Tech Batteries Ltd