The Indian energy sector is hugely dependent on conventional sources for generating electricity. Approximately three quarters of the country’s electricity is generated using fossil fuels. With a population of more than 1.4 billion, and being one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, India has to meet the energy demand more sustainably to reach its growth objectives. Generating power using fossil fuels has harmed the environment ineptly, so the government of India has to take certain measures to generate electricity more sustainably, and also meet the energy requirements of the country.
India’s Energy Demand
The energy demand in India is majorly from the agricultural, industrial and residential sector. A recent report also stated that the energy demands in India are going to double by approximately 11% by 2040. Due to such large energy demands in the country, India is not able to deliver such huge requirements. Approximately 240 million people in India had no access to electricity in 2017.
People who do not have access to electricity, for cooking, use traditional fuels like wood, coal, agricultural waste and dry animal dung to meet their energy requirements. The traditional fuels are the most inefficient ways of producing energy, burning these traditional fuels also releases harmful gases affecting the outdoor air quality.
With such a grave situation in the country, the government of India has taken many measures to solve these problems
The government of India set an ambitious target of generating 175 GW of power by 2020 with only the renewable source of energy, which includes 100GW of energy from solar, 60 GW from wind, 10GW from Bio-power, and the remaining 5GW from small hydropower.
Why 100 GW for solar energy?
Solar energy is one of the fastest developing industries in India. Reports say that until December 2019 India had a solar capacity of 35.6 GW
India is now the third-largest producer of solar energy, the primary reason for this is, India comes under the tropical region and receives direct sunlight all through the year which is approximately 3000 sunlight hours. The country is capable of producing abundant amounts of solar energy that is sufficient enough to run the whole world. With 300 sunny days a year, the total solar energy generated for a year easily exceeds the total fossil fuels reserve in India.
Solar energy is clean energy. There is no emission of harmful gases and hence, it is eco-friendly. It is also abundant and accessible to everyone. The installation of solar plant requires minimal maintenance.
With solar energy now gaining popularity, many companies started growing, and many industries started shifting towards solar.
In 2017 Yamaha Motors Company (YMI) joined hands with Amplus Solar. Amplus developed India’s largest rooftop solar plant at a single manufacturing facility in Greater Noida for Yamaha.
Seeing the tremendous growth in the solar sector the Government of India opened up ample opportunities for the solar sector. The government allowed foreign investments, set up an R&D team for solar, created many schemes and policies for solar.
Though solar energy was widely used in the industrial sector and also generated power more than the estimated energy demand, Indian residential homes were not affected by the gaining popularity of solar initially.
The solution to the problem was addressed by the advent of residential rooftop solar.
Residential Rooftop Solar
Residential rooftop solar technology helps you to power your home with solar energy. Here solar panel is installed at the rooftops of your home, which will generate electricity which you can use to run any home appliances.
With the development of residential rooftop solar, many homes in India have started adopting it. The rooftop solar industry is a revolutionary technology that has huge benefits.
One of the biggest advantages of installing a residential rooftop solar is that they offer cost savings. The tariff rates of solar energy are approximately 17% – 25% cheaper than the standard electricity tariffs.
The installation cost of residential rooftop solar is also very cheap, though initial investments are slightly high you can easily earn back the money you invested in installing it in a matter of 4-7 years.
The standard electricity prices keep fluctuating from time to time, it becomes hard to calculate the cost of the total electricity being consumed. Whereas in residential rooftop solar one can calculate the cost of electricity generation for another 25 years.
Reduces Carbon Footprint:
In residential rooftop solar, solar panels are used to harness energy. Solar panel does not produce any kind of harmful pollutant while generating solar energy hence we can conclude that the rooftop solar panel reduces the carbon footprint.
Low maintenance cost:
Solar panels generally come with a performance warranty period of approximately 25 years, if maintained properly the durability period might increase.
The maintenance required for a solar plant is just regular cleaning and nothing else which makes maintenance of solar panel an easy and cost-efficient task.
Suitable for Indian Climate.
Solar panels generate electricity when light is incident on it, and depending upon the intensity of the light the production rate of the solar panel is decided. As India lies in the tropical region it is best suited for solar installation as we receive direct sunlight.
Support from the government:
To encourage many people to adopt solar energy, the government of India offers tax credits to those who install rooftop solar panels for both residential and commercial purposes. The MNRE which is the central body for energy in India provides 40% as an incentive to the people who install rooftop solar panels.
The growth of solar adoption in the residential sector has been steady. In a recent report from Bridge to India, we can see that the growth rate in the residential sector is hovering around 11% in 2017 to 10% in 2018 an 12% in 2019.
The rooftop solar sector in India has recorded a 70 % increase in its growth out of which only 12-14% is from the residential sector.
There are few reasons why the adoption of solar by residences in low, but if we cater to these gaps efficienly, we can surely pave way for a solar revolution in India.
The Revolution in Residential Rooftop Solar Sector
The solar sector in India in the present day has evolved tremendously, the problems faced while installing residential rooftop solar are now solved.
Brands like HomeScape, which is part of Amplus, are working towards educating the public about residential rooftops solar. Apart from that, HomeScape deals with all the liasioning of the residential solar plant, so that the customer does not have to worry about any regulatory process.
The increase in the energy demand of the country has opened up many opportunities for many companies in the renewable energy sector. With most of the energy demand coming from the residential (Approximately 24%) and industrial sector, the effect of it can hugely affect the residential sector, with the government encouraging residential solar power the future of residential rooftop solar is bright. . Currently the solar sector in India is expected to grow at 17% by the end of 2020. The government set new targets of achieving 175GW capacity of by 2022. Under NDC India now targets to generate 40% of the entire energy production with renewable energy, and also a reduction in the emission intensity of its GDP by 30-35%.
With India’s transition to renewable energy sector, its effect can be seen at multiple levels of the country, with increased employment opportunities, encouraging ecosystem for research and development and significant contribution to GDP due to local manufacturing.