What is the importance of measuring and tracking data across your organization? An unlikely example of this ethos has come in the form of a report published on the capture rate of solar power in air polluted areas.
Solar power generation has the potential to change how we perceive electric power sources in India. The government has set a headline target of 400 GW solar power generation capacity by 2025 but current projections are faltering by almost 50% of the targeted capacity. The obvious reason is that there simply aren’t enough generation sources being built, however, a more pertinent cause as to why power generation targets are not meeting the optimal production rate, is due to air pollution. A problem that was going unidentified due the lack of measuring and monitoring.
The particulate matter built in the air due to pollution scatters incoming solar radiation thereby allowing lesser sunlight to reach the panels. Solar irradiance, measures the actual amount of electromagnetic radiation received to convert light to energy. In darker parts of the country with fewer hours of sunlight, irradiance levels are low, but this effect is manifold due to the dispersion of sunlight due to air particulate matter.
Another cause is that the solar panels that capture sunlight are clogged with air particulate matter that does not allow the light captured to be able to convert into solar energy. This phenomena, known as the soiling effect, is particularly observable in winter when there is a prevalence of smog.
The reason this is finally seeing the day of light (no pun intended) is because of a study published by the professors of IIT – Delhi. The reason itself was not unknown – of course air pollution means less light reaches the photovoltaic panels. But this study sheds light on the actual loss that solar generation is facing due to a direct causation of air pollution. The report states that “between 2001-2018, India lost 29% of its utilizable solar irradiance due to air pollution”.
Using our existing solar generation facilities, we can increase output by at least 29% just by ensuring the air pollution levels are tackled- highlighting the need for not just focusing on headline numbers but to measure and track the root causes behind the bigger number.
This is the perfect case for measuring and tracking key performance indicators across departments in organizations, so one can build and tell a story of a company that is an accurate reflection of the inner working. In a time when we can be doing more with less, measuring and tracking data points that are seemingly hidden in front of us is crucial.
At The Mend Packaging we’re encouraging our clients to measure and track the impact of their packaging on the environment and their sustainability efforts. We are offering clients the option to print QR codes on their packaging to relate and narrate the efforts they are taking by switching over to sustainable packaging. We are capturing data on the energy, water, and deforestation conserved by using recycled packaging and enabling our clients to better understand, in tangible terms, the impact they are making on through their business operations!