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Journal: International Journal of Advanced Research (Vol.9, No. 10)

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Page : 1411-1414

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The deserts of Rajasthan have long been known for their spare beauty and their intense sunshine. Now that sun is being turned into a surge of solar power expansion that may one day power not just Rajasthan but a wide swath of India with clean energy. Rajasthan, with its 300 days a year of sunshine and relatively cheap desert land, has set a goal even more ambitious than Indias. In this years state budget, the newly formed state government announced it hoped to install 25,000 megawatts of solar energy in the state within the next five years, and infrastructure to transmit that power to the national grid. Rajasthan is no newcomer to renewable energy. Since the 1990s, the state has been home to a range of wind energy projects, with about 2,800 megawatts of wind capacity now installed, out of an estimated potential capacity of 5,000 megawatts. Altogether wind power in Rajasthan accounts for about 13 percent of Indias wind energy production. But Rajasthans Great Indian Thar Desert, the test site for Indias first underground explosion of a nuclear weapon 15 years ago, may now help make India a solar power as well. The desert set in Rajasthans largest district Jaisalmer, near the border with Pakistan, it is a place of sand dunes and shrub thickets – but also, increasingly, solar installations that could help change the character of Indias energy development. India committed at the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change negotiations in Copenhagen in 2009 to reduce its climate-changing emissions, per unit of GDP, by 20 to 25 percent by 2020, compared to 2005 levels. The country is currently the worlds seventh largest emitter of global warming pollution and the fifth biggest producer of emissions from burning fossil fuels. Sixty-eight percent of those emissions from fossil fuel use come from creating energy for the worlds second most populous country, according to Indias energy ministry. Today the country has 2.28 million megawatts of power generating capacity, and about 12.4 percent of that comes from renewable energy. Of the 2,632 megawatts of solar power now installed in India, Rajasthan so far has only 730 megawatts, putting it in second place behind the state of Gujarat, with 916 megawatts, according to Indias Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. But Rajasthan, Indias largest state and 60 percent covered by sunny desert, is now attracting the worlds interest as a solar hotspot. Around 1 lakh (100,000) square kilometers of barren land is available in the northwest arid belt of the state at cheaper rates that could be utilized for large scale solar projects. The government is formulating the policy to harness the enormous solar potential of the region to meet the countrys growing energy requirements. Besides large solar installations, the government is studying the possibility of grid-connected rooftop solar photovoltaic units for households. The Solar Energy Corporation of India estimates that 130 million homes could potentially be equipped with the units, creating 25,000 megawatts of generating capacity. said Alok, Rajasthans Energy Secretary.

Last modified: 2021-12-06 15:28:19