Top 5 solar energy trends in India

Top 5 solar energy trends in India

India is geographically suited to receive about 5000 trillion kWh energy every year which averages to 4-7kW per square meter, per day.1 This accounts for massive solar potential which can be harnessed to meet the energy demands of the nation. In 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi set a new target for India’s solar mission – a fivefold increase in the total solar power generation. The target is to achieve 175 GW of solar by 2022 which can make India one of the largest producers of solar power globally.2 A small fraction of the total incident solar energy (if captured effectively) can meet the entire country’s power requirements.

Some of the latest solar trends are as follows.

  1. Net metering systems:
    If the installed rooftop or ground connected solar system is producing more power than the consumption, the surplus power is fed back to the grid. This enables the user to receive credit by generating his own electricity and selling the extra amount to the grid and the process is called net metering.
  2. The usage of unproductive land for solar farms:
    Due to a large population and lack of sufficient land to generate solar, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy decided to allow state governments to allocate non-agricultural and unproductive land for solar parks.3 This, along with numerous solar benefits, ensures lower costs and minimal use of private lands.
  3. Government Policies:
    The Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission was launched by Dr. Manmohan Singh in 2010 to deploy 20GW of solar power by 2022. This was later revised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2015 to set the target of 100 GW by 2022. The objective of the National Solar Mission is ‘To establish India as a global leader in solar energy, by creating the policy conditions for its diffusion across the country as quickly as possible.’4 Various tax exemptions, capital incentives and lucrative subsidies are made available to encourage a substantial industrial shift towards solar.
  4. Off-Grid Solar:
    The Government of India also has emphasized on decentralized renewable power projects or off-grid power projects to meet the energy requirements through stand-alone systems in remote areas.
  5. Global Partnerships:
    India has recently signed an agreement worth $1 billion with the Export-Import Bank of United States for supplying solar equipment. In November 2017, the government of India and The World Bank signed a $2 million Grant agreement and $98 million loan agreement to finance renewable power generation.5 This will establish large scale solar parks, enabling an environment for solar technology penetration and will begin with two projects in the districts of Madhya Pradesh with target capacities of 750 MW and 250 MW respectively.

Footnotes:
1. https://mnre.gov.in/solar
2. https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/target-100-billion-investment-in-solar-energy-says-prime-minister-modi-48079
3. http://greenubuntu.com/solar-energy-trends-in-india-sustainable-development/
4. https://mnre.gov.in/sites/default/files/uploads/mission_document_JNNSM.pdf
5. https://www.businesstoday.in/magazine/cover-story/the-environment-india-is-an-ideal-country-for-solar-energy/story/227500.html
https://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2017/11/20/project-signing-government-india-world-bank-sign-agreement-set-up-large-scale-solar-parks

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