IIT Hyderabad analysis says geothermal energy better than photovoltaic energy

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Anum Ansari
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Updated on Jan 10, 2020 16:52 IST

The researchers also suggest that in this era of diminishing fossil fuel reserves and increasing emission of greenhouse gases, a combination of renewable energy technology must be adopted.

According to the analysis by researchers from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Hyderabad and Monash University, Australia, geothermal energy (power generated by the earth’s heat), is better than photovoltaic energy in terms of carbon dioxide emissions. It also suggests that in this era of diminishing fossil fuel reserves and increasing emission of greenhouse gases, a combination of renewable energy technology must be adopted.

The analysis was conducted by IIT Hyderabad Professor D Chandrasekharam and Professor G Ranjith Pathegama, Department of Civil Engineering, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia. While talking about his analysis, Professor D Chandrasekharam expressed that solar power is far from the zero-emissions energy source that it is claimed to be. Accepting that solar power does have benefits over conventional energy sources, he asked if the hype surrounding the apparent greenness of solar power is justified.

The analysis involved lifecycle assessment of renewables that says to manufacture solar cells that can generate 1 megawatt of electricity from Sun, almost around 10 tonnes of quartz is needed. 20,000 people can be supported by 1 MWe of electricity annually.

Explaining their analysis, the professor said that a solar power cell involves the production of metallurgical grade silicon (MGS) and the production of electronic grade silicon (EGS) from quartz. Around 1756 thousand tonnes of CO2 are released in each process. The total CO2 released during the lifecycle of a solar power cell is about 3312 million kg which is way higher than a geothermal energy source. 

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Anum Ansari
Assistant Manager – Content

"Writing is not about accurate grammar, it's about the honest thoughts you put in it". Having a versatile writing style, Anum loves to express her views and opinion on different topics such as education, entertainme... Read Full Bio

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