Low cost solutions needed to tap solar energy: IIT-B chief

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According to director of Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT-B), Devang Khakhar, finding technologically efficient and economically viable solutions to harness solar energy is the biggest challenge before the country.

“While there are other options to secure clean energy, solar power is the most promising one and needs greater research to see that we have low-cost solutions,” Khakhar said at the graduation ceremony of the 103 Engineer Officers Degree Engineering (EODE) and 16 Technical Entry Scheme (TES) courses at the College of Military Engineering (CME) held recently.

The CME is a premier armed forces institution that offers BTech degree courses in civil, electrical and mechanical engineering besides short courses in combat engineering, to the officers from all three wings of the services and officers from friendly foreign countries.

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According to Khakhar, energy is the biggest issue today if one considers the important developments in technology and the emerging areas of research. “The question is how can we harness energy efficiently and use it cleanly so that there is no impact on environment,” he said. “This is crucial as India is poised to be among the largest users of energy,” he added.

“Fossil fuels like coal, gas and oil will eventually run out and options like clean coal technology, nuclear, solar and wind power will acquire greater significance. However, exercising these options involve huge costs and the same leads us to the question of how we can do this economically,” he said.

Khakhar said, “Solar energy, in particular, needs attention in terms of research. At IIT-B, we have joined our sponsors to invest almost Rs 1 billion in a slew of projects relating to low cost solutions in solar energy.”

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