Air pollution is so severe that India’s solar potential is reduced by 29%

We hope that through solar energy, the energy transition will be smooth and eventually net zero carbon emissions will be achieved, but if the air pollution is too serious, no matter how many solar panels are installed, the effect will be greatly reduced, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) team pointed out , India has lost 29% of solar energy development potential.

Sagnik Dey, associate professor of atmospheric sciences at the Indian Institute of Technology, said that the main reason why air pollution reduces solar power generation is mainly because aerosols absorb and scatter light. According to the team’s research, between 2001 and 2018, India’s solar energy potential has dropped by 29% due to air pollution, which is equivalent to an annual loss of 835 million US dollars.

Dey pointed out that aerosols such as dust, particles, mist, and fumigation in the air can significantly reduce the amount of solar radiation, which is also known as the atmospheric attenuation effect. Usually, when large-scale solar development projects are carried out, developers have to With this in mind, some manufacturers do not take into account the “pollution impact” of aerosol deposition on solar panels.

India is currently sprinting solar installations, but according to research center Mercom India, as of March this year, India’s solar installation capacity is only half of the target, only 50GW. He believes that air pollution in South Asia is becoming more and more serious, and the above two problems must be solved in order to improve the profitability of solar energy systems.

According to past studies, in areas with severe air pollution, suspended particles can reduce solar power generation by more than 50% due to dirty solar panels and reduced chance of rainfall. Bhupendra Das, an environmental researcher at Tribhuvan University in Nepal, also pointed out that acid rain can also corrode solar equipment and brackets, driving up maintenance costs.

The team believes that the solution at this stage is to find the optimal tilt angle to install the solar panel. Compared with the horizontal installation module, the dust is less likely to accumulate or get stuck, and it can also be converted into a more expensive sun tracking system; but in the long run, it may be It still has to rely on India’s air pollution prevention and control plan. For example, India launched the National Clean Air Programme in 2019. The goal is to reduce the PM 2.5 concentration by 20% to 30% in 2024 based on 2017.

Otherwise, according to the “2021 Global Air Quality Report” released by IQAir, a Swiss air quality technology company, the most polluted capital in the world is New Delhi, India. The average PM2.5 concentration ranked first, and 34 other cities in India were also ranked among the most polluted cities in the world.

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