The ultimate source of renewable energy, solar energy is now growing as the chief source of power for both commercial purposes as well as household usages.
In a very short time, the usage of solar energy across the globe, particularly in India, has seen a considerable increase. The worldwide uses of solar power has increased over 300 times from 2019 to 2020. Significantly, this has been boosted by the various aesthetic models and technological innovations that allowed more customers to opt for rooftop solar panels despite its installation costs. In addition to this, the price of solar panels has also decreased considerably. Along with the subsidies and other insurance policies aided by the government the solar energy sector is witnessing a huge growth.
Solar in India: A Sunrise Industry
Considering the increase in customers adopting solar power, the target to achieve the Indian government’s goal of installing 100 GW of solar by the year 2022 is not very far. Consequently, there has been a considerable rise in the competition between the solar companies, particularly the rooftop panel providers. The panels now come in varied options, that also incorporate innovative technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to enhance its efficiency and durability.
Recognised as one among the greenest ways of generating electricity, solar energy development is mentioned chiefly in the Sustainable Development Goal 7 of “Affordable and Clean Energy”. In a similar move, the Paris agreement has defined the NDC framework by counting contributions from participating countries to reduce the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The Central Electricity Authority (CEA) has pledged to stop the use of coal-fired power plants and expand the solar parks instead. The experts and activists look on to complete the country’s commitment made at the Paris Agreement in 2015 – to reduce emissions by 33% to 35% of the 2005 levels by 2030.
As an abundant resource available to all, solar power can remarkably contribute to the greener future of the planet. As a grand vision for ushering in a solar revolution in the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2015, under the National Solar Mission had announced an ambitious target of installing 100 GW of solar power capacity in India by 2022. Substantiating this, the government, in its 2018-19 Union Budget announced zero import duty on parts used in manufacturing solar panels. In addition to this, Atmanirbhar Abhiyan announced to increase economic activity of the country, also extended support to solar manufacturers in the markets.
While grid-connected rooftop solar panel installations are encouraged across Indian households, a higher amount of ground-mounted large solar panels are widely used for industrial, large-scale purposes. Indeed, the decision to harness the targeted capacity should be well appreciated in a country like India where, per year, the increase in air pollution is alarming due to the burning of fossil fuels.
Solar energy and the rooftop installation of panels would discernibly become the future power source of India, primarily because of the abundant availability of its resource. India enjoys the advantageous tropical belt position that grants it about 300 days of hot sunny days per year compared to other countries into this venture.
In its mission to accomplish the aforesaid target of 100GW, the nation has already set up the solar capacity of 37 GW till March 2020, as consolidated by the Central Electricity Authority (CEA).
As grid-connected ground-mounted solar panels are installed more in India, there arose higher demands of large acres of land to meet the target. In addition to the troubles on land acquisition, the solar sector also faces other impediments including the lack of consistent state policies and the lack of intent by the distribution companies in procuring the generated solar power.
By introducing aesthetic structures, like HomeScapes’s Atrium, along with other user-friendly, profitable features and services like the net-metering and remote-sensing, more house owners can be brought into this eco-friendly, sustainable way of energy usage. In addition to this, those customers who have seen the benefits of grid-connected solar panels should advocate its advantages of converting to a greener energy solution by comparing it to the conventional grid electricity.
Meanwhile, states like Gujarat have issued plans to utilise its wastelands so as to utilise it for the generation of solar and wind power projects. The state has also demanded its solar panel producers and solar project developers to install 50% of the total generating capacity within three years, thus achieving its 100% by 2022.
The declared target of harnessing solar power can be easily achieved in the country if the rooftop solar panel setups are encouraged more widely. According to a recent report on the Renewables Sector, the growth momentum to be higher in solar industry compared to other renewable energy sectors over a period of 10 years from 2017 to 2027.
Despite the economic slowdown induced by the coronavirus pandemic and troubles in land acquisition, India has the potential of achieving its 100GW target of harnessing solar energy. Addressing the various roadblocks to the growth of the sector, and educating the residential customers about the importance of going solar, can help expedite India’s journey to achieve this goal.