According to reports, the Marathwada region, which is said to be the third best place in the country for highest solar yield due to its favourable weather conditions, can provide power to the entire state, energy experts have said.
Gundu Sabde, an expert with around 20 years of experience in the field of solar energy, told TOI, “After Jodhpur in Rajasthan and Kutch in Gujarat, Marathwada region is the third best place with highest radiation intensity that yields solar energy. If utilized efficiently, the region has the potential to fulfill the energy needs of the entire state. Each year, the region witnesses more number of days with clear sunlight compared to other parts of the country.”
Sabde, who has over 29 patents registered to his name in the field of solar energy, said, “Even if 20% of the region switches to solar energy, at least four power generating plants would not be needed and lakhs of tonnes of coal would be saved every year. It would also reducetremendous amount of oil import from foreign countries and will save foreign exchange too, thus making the country’s economy strong.” He said only 0.5% of India’s land is enough to generate electricity required for the entire country. In today’s scenario, if the entire investment in solar panels is considered, one may get electricity at approximately Rs 4 per unit, which is far more economical than the conventional sources, he added.
Sham Dande, another expert, said, “The region has the capacity to generate 25% more solar energy than Mumbai. But due to lack of awareness and cost, people refrain from switching to solar energy.” Most of the people do not know that by installing solar panels with the capacity to generate 1 MW of energy, over 2,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide could be prevented from being emitted into the environment every year.”
Anil Suradkar, working in solar energy, said, “the state’s total energy requirement for 2011-12 was 1,41,382 million units (MU) while the availability was just 1,17,722 MUs. The peak demand during the same period remained at 21,069 MW while the demand met was 16,417 MW. The deficit is increasing the burden on natural resources.”