India recently has been making a lot of headlines, and fortunately they all have been made for right reasons. One such path breaking news made to the front page of a number of national papers when the government authorities got the proposal for lowest tariffs of Rs. 4.63 per unit for a 500 MW solar power project. As the sun shines bright on India, the electricity deficient country grappling with high level of pollution is now looking at exploring ways to capitalize on the abundant natural resources available, one of them being Solar Energy.
Many experts consider India particularly suitable for solar power. In fact, a recent study by Deloitte and the Confederation of Indian Industry estimated India’s solar power potential at 749 gigawatts - nearly three times the country’s entire installed electrical capacity in 2012 — and reported that not even 1 percent of this potential is currently tapped. Understanding the need of the hour, our current honorary Prime Minister has been emphasizing on the need to tap the vast potential of renewable resources in India at every platform, be it in India or USA. The government of India has set an ambitious target of achieving 100 GW solar power capacity by 2022 compared to China’s 100 GW by 2020. Many of the national and international big players have already started working on these lines and have initiated various projects on either individual capacity or by partnering with the government authorities.
In India, the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency and the Ministry of Non-Conventional Energy Sources are formulating a programme to provide solar energy in more than a million households in the next few years. However, people’s initiative is essential for the programme to be successful. The main challenge for the sector to grow is that despite being aware of the benefits attached with Solar energy, consumers and state authorities still consider it as an optional form of power producer. The government and industry players will have to step up their game in terms of positioning solar as a mainstream and work on elements to ensure that it becomes a part of consumers’ daily life.
Fortunately or unfortunately, India has become an abode of companies that are mainly into solar power transmission and not solar product manufacturing. To be able to push the consumption of this form of clean energy, it will be important for the industry to market products that are compact, affordable, appealing and mobile. To be more precise, let me quote an example: Until India had affordable mobile phones, there hardly was awareness about the telecom services and role of air waves. Similarly, to make solar consumption viable, there is a need of introducing favorable policies that will make solar products more affordable and easily available. This will in fact help government tap those areas where there is no electricity.
The world has acknowledged the fact that India is truly a gifted land in terms of sunlight and other natural resources. It is this country that made various international companies realign their go-to-market strategies and introduce innovative products that were later taken to the global market. It is now time for the country to gear up its efforts on solar energy front and make it more mainstream than keeping it as an optional form.
The above was published in Business World magazine. See at http://businessworld.in/article/How-India-Can-Bring-Solar-Energy-To-The-Mainstream/18-11-2015-88445/