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Friday, June 14, 2024

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Friday, June 14, 2024

Cleaner Alternatives

By the Editor

Human activities now-a-days depend greatly on energy generated by fossil fuels which are dwindling very fast. Emission of carbon fumes, which are poisonous, pollute the air and thus affect human health. Generation of electric power from rivers and water sources cannot meet the growing demand of consumers due to various reasons. Increase in population, rising industrialisation, change in social behaviour and faster use of electronic gadgets are creating a huge impact on demand for electric power. Farm sector has undergone great changes from manual labour to mechanisation; irrigation and multi-crop rotation rely much on electricity. Consequently, supply cannot meet demand and so regulation of power cannot be avoided and power cuts are inevitable. In such cases, a lot of inconvenience is the result and student as well as business enterprises suffer much. Hence alternatives have to be found, chief among which should be pollution-free and at reasonable cost.

Scientists and researchers in advanced countries like those of Europe and the U.S have been exploiting various alternative sources like the wind, sea and the sun to meet the ever-growing demand for energy. People of the Netherlands in Europe are now depending to a great extent on wind power and windmills. Countries near the sea coasts utilise tidal waves to convert into tidal power. Solar energy and solar power have been found to be very beneficial to many countries, including India. About 30 per cent of the sun’s radiation is reflected by the earth’s atmosphere, about 20 per cent is absorbed by it and about 50 per cent reach the earth’s surface. The sun sustains life for all living creatures including plants. Hence, power from sun’s radiation can be harnessed and which is gaining popularity universally. Scientists are also continuing their research to convert into solar power which is much cleaner and more reliable. At present, the cost of solar power is quite reasonable which may become cheaper in future.

India reveres nature and look upon it as a mother to be loved and respected and not to be ruthlessly and mercilessly exploited. The Khasis address Earth as “Mei Ramew” (Mother Earth), which signifies that this Earth is our Mother and we its children. With modern scientific and technological advances being made the sun will surely be the unlimited source of supply for all form of energy, noting that environment is to be clean and healthy. During the first National Democratic Alliance (MDA) government at the Centre, the country paid great attention to the sun for various demands of energy. Along with France in 2015, it has launched the International Solar Alliance (ISA) to use reliable solar energy for the benefit of people at affordable cost. Today, solar power accounts for nearly 3 per cent of electricity in the world and it continues to increase so that within a decade solar power will become the most important source of electricity. Observing the progress made, more and more countries are switching from the traditional sources to solar power. Conclusively, it is hoped that cleaner alternatives like solar power, which is pollution-free and cheaper, will one day become a reality.

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