States Current Affairs – 2017

Odisha Government launches rooftop solar project

Odisha Government has launched a grid-connected rooftop solar programme through net-metering system at the State Secretariat in capital city of Bhubaneswar.

The programme aims at harnessing renewable solar capacity through people’s participation to further strengthen the grid and reduce power losses and benefit the public. It will also help state to targets in addressing the climate change action plan.

Key Facts

The programme is being implemented by Odisha Renewable Energy Development Agency (OREDA). Under it, consumers from state can install subsided small solar plants on their rooftops and consume the generated solar power during daytime. They can also export excess power to grid at 220V/440V level through their service cables.

Under this programme, state government will provide subsidy of 30% to consumers belonging to residential and institutional segments as well as registered societies and trusts. The exported power will be metered on Net-Metre, a special type of metre provided by the discoms (power distribution companies).

The Net-Metre will help to bill consumer by taking into consideration positive difference of import from the grid and the export to the grid. It will enable consumer to reduce his power consumption by using his own solar power and simultaneously a reduce bill on account of export of solar power to the grid.

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Karnataka Government launches clouding seeding Project Varshadhari

Karnataka Government has launched clouding seeding Project Varshadhari in Bengaluru under which an aircraft will spray chemicals to induce rainfall.

The cloud seeding project is an experimental project that will cover Bengaluru, Gadag and Yadgir districts of the state.

Project Varshadhari

The experimental project aims to condense small water particles by clouds (size less than 10 microns) to droplets of 50 microns, which can constitute rains. The flight for cloud seeding – BQ-100 Beechcraft will spray Silver Iodide, Sodium Chloride and Potassium Chloride to condense the water particles. A committee, comprising meteorologists, experts in cloud physics and hydrologists, will monitor the process.

Cloud seeding

Cloud seeding (also known as weather modification technique) is an artificial way to induce moisture in the clouds so as to cause a rainfall. In this process, either silver iodide, potassium iodide or dry ice (solid carbon dioxide) are spread onto the clouds causing rainfall. These iodide particles rise into the clouds, cause moisture to freeze. These particles act as a base for water vapours to settle on that later crystallises and falls as rain or snow.

This method can be used to bring significant amount of rainfall over a specified area especially in location where rain is badly needed. Several experiments conducted earlier across India were not very effective and gave mixed results. It is not fool proof as seeded clouds may actually travel to another location and do not cause precipitation on the intended location. Moreover there are environmental consequences of spreading of harmful chemicals in atmosphere. It is also very expensive technique. If it is not controlled properly, it may result in undesirable weather conditions like flooding, hail, storms, etc.

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