Green Energy

Solar Wind Hybrid Plants a Good Answer to Carbon Emissions

Solar(NYSEARCA:TAN) wind(NYSEARCA:FAN) hybrid plants are said to be a good clean answer to the problem of high carbon emissions in the energy(NYSEARCA:XLE) sector eliminating to a large extent the problem of individual intermittency of solar and wind power plants.



By Sneha Shah

They are also much more cost-efficient as they can use the common infrastructure as well as use transmission lines which are already present. They increase the load factor for the transmission lines reducing the overall cost of supplying power from the wind-solar hybrid plants. However, these plants have yet to really catch on and are still a niche segment within the overall renewable energy industry.

The new exciting technology(NYSEARCA:XLK) of floating solar PV is said to be another technology that can reduce one of the major challenges of solar technology which is the wastage of large parcels of land which can be better utilized for other purposes. Also, there are large water bodies that can be better utilized. Hydrogen power plants in general have large water reservoirs that are not used most of the time (the surface that is). They also have the distribution and transmission infrastructure in place which can be used by other power sources.

There is huge potential for using these water bodies in hydrogen dams for installing floating solar plants which can then use the transmission infrastructure already in place to supply clean power to the grid. The intermittency problem can also be largely be solved by having the hydro plant working in the night time when the solar panels are not generating power. The other advantages of floating solar PV plants such as reducing water evaporation and generating higher power due to the cooling effect of water will also get leveraged.

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There is a massive amount of hydropower capacity around the world already in place. A high-level study indicates that if all the water areas in these dams are used then approximately 7600 GW of solar power capacity can be developed. These do not take into account the grid integration costs or the other finer details. However, if only a fraction of this high-level capacity estimate can be used, then there will be no need for ground-based utility-scale solar power plants that are being built rapidly around the world.