The first thing that erupts in mind is how many? Yes, there are many in fact plenty to fulfill considerable part of global energy demands. But we will only be discussing the most important ones here. Since renewable energy is no longer a niche technology, almost all small and big nations around the world have embarked on a race to impress the world with most spectacular solar energy projects of all types and let everyone know about their true potential. There are a few projects that require to meet increasing energy demands in wake of rapidly depleting fossil fuels. The solar energy technology now is an upgraded one and there are plenty of projects around the world that pave a way out for future growth. So, it is necessary to take a peek into some of the biggest and most spectacular projects around the world and see what they more can be done about these. Let’s get started:
● Longyangxia Dam Solar Park, China: This one is located in the Qinghai province of China and it is currently one of the largest solar parks on this planet. It stretches about 27 kilometer square. Its daily output measures approx. 850MW. It is a fact that China is the largest polluter in the world, this solar power park proves that it is capable of change, other than pollution it can also capture enough clean energy from the closest star in our galaxy. It currently empowers approx. 200, 000 homes for now.
Fig. 1: Longyangxia Dam Solar Park, China
● Cochin International Airport, India: There are very few who know that Cochin is one of the busiest airports of India. It is also one of the first airports in the world that runs solely on solar energy. It is not only a 100 percent clean energy project, it is also reckoned for sending back energy to the electrical grid. This one is located on a veritable wasteland located close to one of the airport terminals, it was one of the longest projects in history and the best part is it is finally paying back.
Fig. 2: Cochin International Airport
● Solar Star, California: Located in Rosemund, California is not only the largest solar park in US in terms of capacity. It also happens to be one of the largest solar installation in the nation. Spread across an area o 13 square kilometers, it produces 579 MW. It is only a step up from the second largest solar farm in United States, the Topaz Solar Farm that produces 550 MW.
Fig. 3: Star Solar, California
● Solar Panel Bike Path, Netherlands: When Netherlands came up with iits first bike path in year 2014, it registered loads of applauds and success. It inspired all others so much that France finally planned to build complete solar roads that could offer up to 8% of energy requirements of complete nation. Japan is adopting similar approach but instead of applying it to roads, it is implementing this system to water and formulating the largest floating solar panel on this planet. Interesting and inspiring, isn’t it?
Fig. 4: Solar Energy Road, Netherland
●Solar “Tindo” Bus, Australia: Almost 5 years back, Adelaide in South Australia brought up its first fully solar-powered public commutation bus into operation. Named as “Tindo”, another synonym of Sun it is capable of travelling up to 125 miles before demanding recharge. It recharges itself at the base of Adelaide Central Bus station. It is also known for offering air conditioning and free wi-fi and can accommodate up to 40 passengers.
Fig. 5: Solar “Tindo” Bus, Australia
● Datong Solar Power Top Runner Base, China: When its 1st phase completed it was capable of generating 1 GW and by the completion of 3 phases it was able to produce 3GW. It also has the potential to become the largest solar power plant in the world once it reached its final phase. If you were to believe the government statistics released in 2017, it generated 870 million watts power equal to 120 million watts of power per month. Most beautiful thing, it is in shape of the cutest animal on earth – a panda.
Fig. 6: Datong Solar Power Top Runner Base, China
● Kurnool Ultra Mega Solar Park, India: Commissioned at the Kurnool Ultra Solar Park this park is capable of generating 900- 1000 MW it has been operational for more than a year now. It overpowers the 648 MW park that was developed by the Adani Group in Tamil Nadu and also the Topaz Solar Park located in California.
Fig. 7: Kurnool Ultra Mega Solar Park, India
● Canal Solar Power Project, Gujarat, India: One of the most ingenious projects in the world, his one kills two birds with a stone. Started as a pilot project, these solar panels are placed strategically over the canals. These not only offers the required power but also saves millions and millions of gallons of water from evaporation every year. One of the most intriguing projects, it fights power and water shortage in smartest possible way.
Fig. 8: Canal Solar Power Project, Gujarat, India
● Tokelau Renewable Energy Project: Speaking of countries, it is one of the first nations in the world that is completely solar powered. Operational since year 2012, this project meets all energy requirements of 1500 residents of this country located across three atolls. There was a time when this country was completely dependent on diesel, this solar project has made Tokelau a completely diesel free nation. This project attained so much success that the neighbouring island of Ta’u came up with a similar project in 2016 bringing down 2.5 million pounds of Carbon dioxide from atmosphere yearly. These island nations are one of the first biggest benefactors of solar-only countries.
Fig. 9: Tokelau Renewable Energy Project
● Solar Impulse: A brainchild of Swiss engineer Andre Borschberg and a Swiss aeronaut Bertrand Piccard, this one took into sky in end of 2009. Its subsequent project, the Solar Impulse 2 accomplished its journey across the world in July 2016. These airplanes are proof of the fact that air travel is possible with solar power. Imagine how much fuel it can save annually.
Fig. 10: Solar Impulse 2 Roaming Around The World
● Karnataka: Last but not the least, this one was launched recently in the Tumakuru district of Karnataka and is an investment worth Rs. 16, 500 crores. It is a 2000 MW park called as “Shakti Sthala” and is spread across an area of 13, 000 acres across 5 villages. The development of the park relies on Karnataka Solar Power Development Corp. Ltd. And did we forget mention, it will be one of the largest solar energy projects in the world.
Fig. 11: Shakti Sthala
However, this is not the whole story. Solar power is not only only of restoring the energy balance in the world. There are several other forms of renewable energies that are helping meet the energy requirement and get over the fever of non-renewable energy resources. This includes wind energy, hydro energy, geothermal energy and so on. This revolution is gaining momentum all over the world and in a few years the perishable energy sources will be a thing of past. So, let’s get together and start preparing for a future that would be cleaner, non-perishable, and full of possibilities for us and our upcoming generations. Probably, we will leave a better world for our kids then the one they were born in.