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Examining The Effectiveness Of Alternate Energy In Developing Countries: A Case Of Efficient Energy Management And Production Method

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Type of Academic Paper – Dissertation Proposal

Academic Subject – Civil Engineering

Word Count – 2109words

ABSTRACT

The following study will examine the alternative energy methods and determine how conventional energy can be converted into solar energy. The topic is of great interest for the readers as technology has advanced, and people are switching towards energy saving methods.

For the selected topic, a qualitative study will be conducted along with the secondary data collection method. The tools and techniques used in this study are those used for making solar panels and batteries. The scope of this study is limited to solar energy as developing countries find it a suitable option for consumption.

Introduction

According to Energy Access Outlook (2017), globally, 1.1 billion people, approximately 14% of the global populace, do not have access to electricity. Humans consume around 63,300,000 of electricity every day, and the need is continuously rising with time (Global Power Planet Database, 2019).

Over time, there has been a drastic increase in the products and services that energy provides since they are essential for the economy’s growth. As a result, developing countries thus face a huge challenge in managing the energy resources and meeting the needs of the people while participating in the global transformation to a clean energy system.

To fulfil this energy shortage, some developing countries rely on non-renewable sources: oil, coal, or natural gas. On the contrary, most developing countries have superabundant renewable sources such as solar, wind or air, but they are not utilized efficiently.

The sources of non-renewable energy are criticized because of increasing greenhouse gases, questions about sustainability, economic viability and are linked with dependence on foreign energy grants and supply, resulting in indebtedness of developing countries (Vandaele and Porter, 2015).

Due to this, renewable sources are becoming an attractive option for countries because of their low carbon footprints, unlimited reserves, stabilized prices, low cost of production and economic benefits.

According to the study conducted by Liang, Yu, and Wang (2019), it has been observed that renewable energy has various benefits for the country that is investing in renewable energy sources. There are multiple renewable sources of energy that any country can utilize.

The major difference among them is their production cost, sustainability issues, and management issues. Renewable energy sources include geothermal energy, biomass energy, hydro electrical energy, hydrogen and fuel cell energy, wind energy and solar energy.

It has been observed that the ratio of production and the cost of these plants differ from each other. In addition to the production cost, there are managerial and sustainability costs and issues that must be countered by the authorities implementing the project.

Comparing the initial and running cost of the project, it has been observed that the most easily manageable and available at the lowest cost of both initial and running is solar energy (Kannan and Vakeesan, 2016).

The solar energy received by the Earth in one hour is very high compared to the amount of energy consumed by global pollution in a year (Grimshaw and Lewis, 2010). Currently, the world uses only 0.18% of solar energy’s potential generation capacity.

Most developing country’s geographical locations are optimal for absorption of the sun’s rays. This makes solar energy one of the best energy generation solutions in developing countries. The use of modern energy is vital for developing countries to improve their economic conditions increase production, income generation and social development.

Critiques on renewable energy argued that it is costly, insufficiently concentrated, cannot be harnessed during the night, is affected by weather conditions, and requires a larger area to maintain and operate. But the proponents of solar energy are huge in number.

The solar electric system is clean, safe, highly reliable and flexible with little maintenance (National Energy Education Development Project, 2018). The major benefit of solar energy is that it can be domestically produced without dependent on any other country or source.

Eventually, the world will move towards sources of renewable resources, as sources of non-renewable energy have scarce supply and are created over a long period. New technological innovations may prolong fossil fuel reserves for their extraction.

Still, the need of the hour is to decrease the harmful effects of climate change globally compared to the extinction of fossil fuels. If the harmful effects of increasing climate and temperature changes should be escaped, people need to shift towards renewable energy sources.

The pace of converting to renewable energy sources will vastly be affected by choice of policies. A blend of conservation of energy and use of renewable sources of energy will ultimately substitute the current fossil-fuel dominated energy system with renewable sources (Timmons, Harris and Roach, 2014). If sound energy management and production methods are adopted, developing countries can benefit from this untapped potential.

Problem Statement

In recent times, the shortage of energy is one of the key issues the world is facing. The non-renewable energy resources are depleting to a great extent. The dependence on fossil fuels is increasing drastically, which is why these energy sources are over consumed.

In addition, the use of these fossil fuels has hugely impacted the environment since they are unsustainable and have contributed to greenhouse gas emissions, air, water and land pollution. Moreover, the use of non-renewable sources in developing countries has made them dependent on foreign energy supply while not utilizing their resources efficiently (Ahuja and Tatsutani, 2009).

This makes the energy crisis around the globe worse and has negatively influenced human beings. As a result, renewable resources have started to gain popularity in developing countries as a sustainable alternative to non-renewable sources.

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Aim and Objectives

This study aims to examine the energy management practices utilized in converting conventional energy into solar energy systems in developing countries and measure their effectiveness. The objectives of the study are as follows:

  • To investigate the environment-friendly energy practices in developing countries.
  • To analyze the process of conversion of conventional energy into solar energy.
  • To understand the potential of solar energy among other energy sources.
  • To recommend ways for finding alternative energy methods.

Rationale

The rationale for carrying out the study is the global energy crisis. This makes the research topic worth researching as the need for energy is rising continuously, and the demand does not meet the supply (Green Growth Studies: Energy, 2011).

Non-renewable energy sources are around the world, but it is necessary to measure the level of effectiveness of these resources. The research focuses on understanding the scale up to which non-renewable energy, specifically solar energy is beneficial for the developing world and their economic growth.

Literature Review

Renewable energy, which is widely used worldwide, is one of the best sources for generating electricity. Renewable energy is clean, natural and environment-friendly. It is sustainable as it is obtained from unlimited sources, including air, biomass, solar, water, geothermal, etc.

Other benefits of renewable energy are cost-effective, efficient and reliable for a long period. Also, these sources do not generate any harmful waste in electricity generation.

One of the major renewable sources in the world is solar power, and it is the most beneficial, especially for developing countries. Solar energy has been harnessed for centuries. With time the method of harnessing solar energy has been changed.

Solar power involves converting energy from the sun by using a photovoltaic (PV) or concentrating device. There are three basic forms of solar energy: 1. Low temperature solar thermal 2. Solar electric or photovoltaic (PV) 3. High temperature solar thermal energy. Power from the sun can be utilized in two ways:

  1. collecting its heat (solar-thermal) 2. Converting its light into electricity (photovoltaic). Photovoltaic technologies can be divided into flat plates and concentrators (Electricity from Renewable Resources, 2010).

Since developing countries are always striving for progress and development, solar energy is very beneficial for their progress. The benefits which solar energy sources offer to develop countries are enormous.

Firstly, solar energy makes developing countries self-sufficient because of its dependence on local and natural resources. It also increases the country’s sustainable development rate while increasing its economic growth. It also reduces pollution and decreases the cost of mitigating global warming. Furthermore, it also makes fossil fuel prices lower.

There are many projects conducted in developing countries to make solar energy adaptable and widespread use of solar energy. One such project is Solar Energy International (SEI), working in connection with the development and grass-root organizations and consuming renewable energy sources for sustainable development.

It also provides technical assistance, planning and training for such projects. In addition, funding of the projects for renewable energy in developing countries is being done through various multi-lateral and bi-lateral aid agencies. Furthermore, local-based organizations such as micro-finance banks also offer loans to complete these projects.

The planning and operation of energy methods to control energy production and consumption are called an energy management system, a prevalent phenomenon. It helps to monitor, analyze, and set targets for energy consumption, increasing the efficiency of energy (Hurst, 2017).

According to Cannata and Taisch (2010), efficiency in energy production management should be introduced for effective energy consumption. Presently used production planning and control policies do not consider energy efficiency.

The research suggests that production planning and control needs to be examined together with performance evaluation. Further research is needed for production processes and performance indicators in modelling techniques.

Methodology

Equipment and Tools

In the light of the study which has been conducted by (Gontowski et al., 2016), it has been found that the equipment and tools that are needed for the installation of the solar panel at any site include:

  • Tools for Site Assessment
    • Solar pathfinder
    • Measurement tape
    • Maps (longitudinal and latitudinal directions)
  • Tools for Installation
    • AC & DC Multimeter
    • Extension Cables (Heavy Duty)
    • Clamp-on Ammeter (DC)
    • All kinds of Simple tools
  • Tools for the system of batteries
    • Hydrometer
    • Voltmeter
    • Turkey Baster
    • Distilled Water

Standard Testing Conditions (STC)

It has been studied that the effectiveness of solar energy cells can be measured under the standard testing conditions, which specifies that the cell’s temperature should be 25o C and the output of the system should be 1kW/m2, and the air mass should be 1.5.

Moreover, the sun-facing of the plates should be 37o tilted, and the sun should be 41.81o above the horizon. This condition has been specified as the standard testing condition for measuring the output of the solar cells (office, 2019).

The methodological framework for the concerned research has been designed about the existing information. The research is primarily based on secondary data, and the research method used is qualitative. The data has been collected from research reports, journals, articles, and websites.

The rationale for using secondary data over primary data is that since the concerned research is based upon the use of solar energy in different developing countries, this requires gathering extensive data from around the world. The research approach used in the research is deductive.

References

Ahuja, D., and Tatsutani, M., 2009. Sustainable Energy for Developing Countries. Open Edition Journals, Vol.2

Cannata, A., and Taisch, M., 2010.  Introducing Energy Performances in Production Management: Towards Energy Efficient Manufacturing. IFIP International Federation for Information Processing. Pp. 168-175

Electricity from Renewable Resources (2010). National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine [Online] Available at https://www.nap.edu/read/12619/chapter/5 [Accessed 11 Oct. 2019]

Energy from the Sun (2018). National Energy Education Development Project

Green Growth Studies: Energy. 2011. Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development

Grimshaw, D., and Lewis, S., 2010. Solar Power for the Poor: Facts and Figures. Science Development Network. [Online] Available at https://www.scidev.net/global/energy/feature/solar-power-for-the-poor-facts-and-figures-1.html [Accessed 11 Oct.2019]

Harmony, N., A, Okoye. And A, Eje., 2017. Solar Energy Analysis as The Definitive Renewable Energy Source. International Journal in IT & Engineering, 5 (12)

Kannan, N. and Vakeesan, D., 2016. Solar energy for future world:-A review. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews62, pp.1092-1105.

Liang, Y., Yu, B. and Wang, L., 2019. Costs and benefits of renewable energy development in China’s power industry. Renewable energy131, pp.700-712.

Office, C. (2019). Standard Test Conditions (STC): definition and problems – Sinovoltaics – Your Solar Supply Network. [online] Sinovoltaics – Your Solar Supply Network. Available at: https://sinovoltaics.com/learning-center/quality/standard-test-conditions-stc-definition-and-problems/ [Accessed 15 Oct. 2019].

Timmons, D., Harris, J., and Roach, B., 2014. The Economics of Renewable Energy. Global Development and Environment Institute

Vandaele, N., and Porter, W., 2015. Renewable Energy in Developing and Developed Nations: Outlooks to 2040. Journal of Undergraduate Research, 15(3)

Viens, A., 2019. The World’s Largest Energy Sources. [Online] Available at https://www.visualcapitalist.com/worlds-largest-energy-sources/ [Accessed 10 Oct.2019].

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