New Delhi, Dec 16:
A new study has found that the exciting new ‘SolarGas’ technology could help India’s efforts towards achieving energy security.
SolarGasTM technology was developed by Australia’s national science agency, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation(CSIRO).
It concentrates the sun’s rays to drive a reaction between water and natural gas which stores solar energy in the form of chemical bonds.
The SolarGas can then be used to produce high-efficiency electricity in a gas engine or turbine.
More importantly for India it can also be used to produce hydrogen for industrial use, petrochemical applications and fertilizer manufacture, and to provide cleaner transport fuels.
“The study has found that the SolarGas technology has the potential to provide a sustainable and cost effective alternative for the production of hydrogen in some of India’s most important industries,” CSIRO Senior Research Scientist Dr Jim Hinkley said.
“There is a particularly strong potential to roll out the technology in Gujarat and Rajasthan because both states have excellent solar resources and natural gas infrastructure, as well as being major industrial users of hydrogen.”
The study has found there are several potential benefits of the technology in India, such as; (a) Improved energy and food security by reducing natural gas consumption; (b) New jobs created through local manufacturing and operation of the technology; (c) The potential to produce solar liquid fuels for transport.
“Energy and energy security are critical issues for Australia and India, and we have much to offer each other by sharing our renewable technology expertise and technology,” said Australia’s High Commissioner to India Patrick Suckling said.
“SolarGas could provide both our countries with an exciting new commercial opportunity, and I hope this technology can play a part in India’s drive towards energy security,” he added.
The study was funded by the Australian Government and undertaken by CSIRO in collaboration with the Solar Energy Corporation of India.
The study also developed a concept design for a pilot scale SolarGas facility and identified numerous potential host sites suitable for such a pilot project.