Solar energy Current Affairs

CSIR scientists develop artificial leaf create hydrogen fuel from sunlight, water

CSIR scientists have developed an ultra-thin wireless device that mimics plant leaves to produce energy using water and sunlight. The artificial leaf absorbs sunlight to generate hydrogen fuel from water.

In advance, this artificial leaf may provide clean energy for powering eco-friendly cars in the future. It can serve ultimate solution for our energy and environment problems.

Need for such technology

At present, hydrogen is produced from fossil fuels by steam reforming. In this process large amount of carbon di-oxide (CO2) – a greenhouse gas is emitted which promotes global warming. So in view of pressing energy and environmental issues, it is important to produce hydrogen from natural resources such as sunlight and water. India is also blessed with plenty of sunlight throughout year that is not exploited significantly to produce energy or hydrogen.

Key Facts

The artificial leaf or the wireless device consists of semiconductors stacked in manner to simulate natural leaf system. The device has an area of 23 square centimetres. When visible light strikes semiconductors, electrons move in one direction and produce electric current.

The current almost instantaneously splits water into hydrogen – making it one of cleanest forms of fuel as its main byproduct is water. It can produce 6 litres of hydrogen fuel per hour.

To improve light-absorbing efficiency of artificial leaf, researchers had used gold nanoparticles, titanium dioxide and quantum dots. Quantum dots are semiconductor crystals of nanometre dimensions with properties that depend on the size of dots.

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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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