Solar energy is being increasingly viewed as the ultimate panacea and alternative for the vexatious and perennial power generation and supply. Not only is it a resource saver, solar power generation is remarkably pollution free unlike the traditional thermal and hydro generation. Despite its obvious advantages, India like several nations in the world has delayed its entry into this sunshine industry. But, of late, Indians are driving towards solar energy with a view to reap several advantages accruing out of it. Buoyed by strong incentives from the government in terms of subsidy, preferential treatment in granting licences and tax holidays, more and more entrepreneurs are jumping into this sunshine sector. As a result, solar generation capacity in the country has shot up from 5GW in 2015 to 14 GW by 2018 and is projected to be reaching 175GW by 2022.
The statistics depicted in the figure represents the total report of required power for all population, India’ targets, achieved targets, and the success of the country.
"Solar is the central polar for the protection of the whole Universe."
A few facts that are driving Indians crazily towards solar energy are discussed here:
A. Demand for Energy:
India is the second largest country with a population of 1.3 billion people and is the fifth largest generator of electricity and consumption of power in the world. And the installed capacity is ever on the upward rise. On the other hand, the demand for power has been constantly out beating the incremental generation. Additionally, conventional power generation guzzles up high volumes of non-renewable resources like coal. According to recent statistics, coal reserves of the country may hardly last till 2040-2050. These facts led the Indians to go for solar energy which bridges the gap between demand and supply and helps in improving natural resources.
B. Tropical Country:
Topographical/geographical advantage is another driving force for Indians to veer to solar power. Being a tropical country, India receives solar radiation almost throughout the year. In a way, India basks in sunlight for major part of the year! This is the reason Indians have more scope in generating cleaner, efficient and economical energy by harvesting the energy flowing from the sun. Winter and rainy seasons, that account for hardly a quarter of the year, are the lean periods for this industry.
The high cost of photo voltaic cells and acute shortage of them were a few of inhibiting factors for most to switch to solar energy generation. However, advancement in technology and major incentives from the government to the photo voltaic cell producing industry have ensured to drive down prices drastically.
Consequently, the use of solar energy has expanded across the length and breadth of the country. Residential blocks, commercial buildings, industrial areas, street lighting have turned solar! Vast swathes of land areas, space over flowing canals and water bodies, roof tops of buildings are being innovatively put to use to house the solar panels. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), the apex body for formulation and implementation of energy policies in the country, has been at the forefront in ‘solarising’ the nation. Apart from hand-holding budding entrepreneurs with
easy to implement policies
subsidising capital expenditure
MNRE constantly conducts training programs to them and ensuring technology transfer for effective results.
D. To Reduce GHGs:
Using the conventional sources of energy such as coal, water, petroleum, power, fossil fuels, natural gases, etc. can irreversibly pollute the environment. India is the third largest GHG (Green House Gas) emitter in the world. In order to arrest this and to ensure a more liveable planet for the ensuing generation of population, the present government initiated ISA (International Solar Alliance). ISA is a conglomerate of all the 123 member nations of the United Nations with headquarters at Gwal Pahari in Bihar, India. It is conceived as a coalition of solar resource rich countries to address their special energy needs and will provide a platform to collaborate on addressing the identified gaps through a common, agreed approach. The motto for this alliance is a sustainable environment and climate and cleaning energy by utilizing solar power. Such initiatives have propelled wider participation of entrepreneurs and boost capacity building in the solar energy sector.
E. Commercial use:
With the rapid strides in solar finance, technologies, innovation or capacity building, many solar-powered products have evolved. The products such as solar chargers, solar chimneys, solar cookers, solar lamps, solar caps, solar heaters, solar vehicles, solar pumps, etc. have seen the light of the day.
Utilizing solar is like killing two birds with one shot. It helps in clean energy and energizing the economy of the country. There is a bright future ahead for all through this unmatchable natural energy resource gifted by God for all mankind.
Besides, there are nearly 50 solar stations were installed by MNRE in India which assess the solar radiation. The MNRE is updating and announcing new policies and programs for energy conservation. India is going to become the first and foremost country for using LED bulbs by this year. It already distributed about 700 million LED bulbs collaborating with private organizations for lightning under UJALA (Unnati Jyothi by Affordable LEDs for all).
"POWER OUR COUNTRY WITH SOLAR"