Solar Power has been the latest buzzword in media and political circles of India. At present, solar contributes only 1% of the total renewable energy production in India. India has huge potential for solar power and it is expected that this industry is going to witness exponential growth in the coming 5-10 years. This is true given the fact that by efficiently harnessing solar energy India can generate sufficient electricity to power the whole nation.
Let us have a look why solar power has a bright future in India:
1. India suffers from acute power problem: Indian has a huge power deficit and more than half of her population has little or no access to electricity. The grid based system here is broken and unreliable.Power supply to remote areas is still a farfetched dream due to various infrastructure and operational issues. Solar power is the only connecting thread which can resolve the complex, multi-dimensional power problem for India. Solar energy can provide cost effective means of supplying power for each and every home in India.
2. India would double its power consumption soon: India is a rapidly progressing nation and every new addition to its industry and infrastructure is going to increase its power demand. It is estimated that in coming decade Indians would consume almost double the amount of energy being used as of now. The conventional energy sources which are depleting fast would become costlier and scarcer over the period. New and cheaper energy alternative would be welcomed and adopted by the needy populationand solar panels would bedotting the Indian landscape in coming decade.
3. Great potential for renewable Solar energy: India’s location on the globe makes it one of the sunniest nations of the world. India receives more than 300 days/ year of bright sunlight. India with almost 3000 hours of sunshine can generate close to 5000 trillion kWh of solar power every year. This is more than the total energy produced by all the conventional energy sources in the country. If the abundant sunshine available in India is captured and used efficiently it can fulfill the power demand for the whole nation even in 2030.
4. Government backing for solar installations: Indian government is giving a great push to solar energy. The recently formed “Solar Alliance” is headquartered in Gurgaon, Haryana, India and brings together 121 sunny nations of the world. These nations aim to make solar energyavailable and accessible for all. Government of India aims to make India a solar super power by 2022.To achieve this goal government has revised its solar power capacity target fivefold and plans to take it to 1000 GW by 2022. Government is also giving huge tax benefits, subsidies, easy loans and other benefits to promote an environment for adoption and growth of solar solutions.
5. Solar sector is witnessing massive boom:The private sector in India has taken note of the great potential for solar power for the nation. Solar energy market is witnessing a boom both in online and brick and mortar markets. Online clean energy marketplaces dedicated exclusively to solar products have come into existence and are making solar products easily accessible to the masses. Corporate bigwigs have also entered the market and Softbank, Foxconn, and Bharti have announced $20 billion investment in solar sector in a phased manner. The latest reports are very promising for Indian solar scene and forecast a 250% growth of the sector in the coming year itself.
6. Technology has brought down prices: Recent technological breakthrough has made solar energy easily accessible for all. The price of solar panels has come down significantly in recent years. Special batteries that can hold charge for longer duration are being produced and marketed along with solar panels. It is estimated that the current cost of solar installations could come down to one fourth by 2020. With the use of latest technology sunny areas in India can produce up to 90% of their daily electricity requirement for homes.
7. Indians are ready for change: Indians need a long term solution for the power problem which has been impeding the growth of Indian economy. With the latest awareness and efforts to promote solar energy the young nation is all set to adopt solar energy which promises to give them an easy and effective solution for the power woes. Government backing, incentives and mass awareness campaigns are also going to be instrumental in the successful switch to solar energy.
Solar power definitely has a real potential and promises to solve the persistent power problem for Indians. However, to make solar power a success in India, government needs to work on extensive awareness campaigns to educate the masses about the great benefits of solar energy. It would also be very helpful if steps are taken for easy allotment of land for setting up large solar installations. Corporates are also pushing for easy regulatory compliance which would help them make solar popular without useless delays.
If you have any suggestions for making solar power popular and accessible please share in comments.