Keeping in view the contemporary circumstances, it's clear that sooner or later, this century will see the shift of power generation to renewable sources, solar energy being the primary choice. With the current rate of depletion of non-renewable resources and surge of solar power initiatives, experts predict solar power to dominate as a preferable source of power generation in the coming 20 to 30 years.
An American author, futurist and computer scientist, Ray Kurzweil says - "Solar panels are coming down dramatically in cost per watt. And as a result of that, the total amount of solar energy is growing, not linearly, but exponentially. It’s doubling every 2 years and has been for 20 years. And again, it’s a very smooth curve. There are all these arguments, subsidies and political battles and companies going bankrupt, they’re raising billions of dollars, but behind all that chaos is this very smooth progression."
But the question still remains, even if it revolutionizes the globe in such a scalable manner, why do we need to change our ways at a personal level. The answer to this is quite simple and can be read between the lines. There are two ways to look at it :
Looking at the bigger picture, being a human residing in the planet earth (hope you're not planning to migrate to Mars in the near future) we do hold a certain ownership and along with it some responsibility towards it. And if we adapt to Solar Energy, it will be a boon for our earth. We will save our non-renewable resources and curb pollution. Everything comes down upon us in a direct or indirect way, as an acknowledgement of how we treat our mother nature.
In the other way, adopting solar energy cuts down our regular electricity expenses since it provides us with a free alternative. Although it does have a catch of one time investment for installation, solar energy requires little maintenance and saves on electricity bills. But more importantly, it also makes us sincere and responsible citizens, contributing towards the sustainable development of our earth for future generations.
Solar energy till now had not been popular option due to its high installation and maintenance cost. But over the last few years prices of solar power has seen a global decline; India too is witnessing a dramatic fall in the prices of solar power. Back in 2010 when the Jawaharlal Nehru Solar Mission was launched, a unit of solar energy used to cost Rs 17 per unit. According to a recent report, India’s strategy of a foreign currency-denominated tariff plan for solar energy is aimed at providing solar power at a new low of Rs.4.75 per unit to the states!
Madhya Pradesh recently installed a cheap solar power plant where the minimum cost would come down to as low as Rs 5.05 per unit. Madhya Pradesh Power Management Company is ready to sell solar energy to the state at just Rs 5 per unit for a period of over 20 years. The Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE ) too expects the price of solar energy to go down further when states like Rajasthan, Gujarat, Haryana, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh invite bids for their projects as they have already taken huge initiatives in solar industry. Prices of solar panels have come down by 60% in last 3 years. Moreover a solar system pays for itself in 4-6 years since it returns about 4-5 times of its cost in saved electricity bills in its entire lifetime. With incentives in place, the cost of solar energy is likely to witness a drastic decrease. Irrespective of all personal opinions, one thing is amply clear, solar is the future- either we adopt solar now or we adapt to it in the coming times.
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