Top of the Game: India Plugs in World’s Largest Solar Power Plant
The Adani Group’s solar power plant in Tamil Nadu could power as many as 1,50,000 homes.
The solar-powered future is on the way, the world’s largest solar power plant in the world just went online in Tamil Nadu. At full capacity, the plant could power 1,50,000 homes.
Solar power is a major component of India’s plan to address climate change. In 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a target of 100 gigawatts of solar energy to be produced in India by 2022. By next year, India could be the world’s third-largest solar power producer.
Tamil Nadu’s new solar plant brings the country closer to its target with its 648 megawatts – about 100 megawatts more than the previous largest solar plant in California. Panels were set up over 10 square kilometres, at a cost of Rs 4,550 crore. Robots, powered by energy generated at the plant, will clean the panels each day.
But India’s dependence on coal and other climate changing fossil fuels is still strong. The Adani Group, the company behind the project, also has a reputation for its interests in coal. The company is developing what would be the largest coal mine in the world in Australia.
Burning coal is one of the biggest causes of climate change, and coal exports from the mine to India would cross the Great Barrier Reef, having potentially devastating consequences for the diverse ecosystem of the reefs, environmentalists say. This could also hinder global efforts to slow down rapidly rising global temperatures.
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