In India, we experience around 300 bright and clear days. If we calculate the total solar energy incident on India’s surface, it sums to almost 5000 trillion Kilo-Watt-hours per year. This quantity exceeds the total reserve of fossil fuel energy in India. An efficient use of solar in all sectors can pave the way for massive developments in the country.
Developments So Far
Because of the many benefits of solar power, many cities across the globe are transitioning to it. India is the sole country in the world to have dedicated an entire ministry to sustainable energy. With the National Solar Mission, 2010, the country seems to be marching towards a brighter and cleaner future. In May 2018, India became home to International Solar Alliance, a charitable treaty-based union of 121 countries to promote and develop the use of solar energy and solar products in countries residing within Tropic Of Cancer and Tropic Of Capricorn, wholly or even partially.
Solar Capacity in India
As of June2018, India houses 23 GW of installed solar capacity. A report from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) says that in 2017, India installed about 10 GW of solar, which is approximately double that of 2016.
Solar Parks Development Project
A concentrated sector of solar power development that provides developers with a well-constructed area of required infrastructure and amenities is known as a solar park. The Solar Park Scheme was undertaken by Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) in association with Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) for the construction of solar parks in various states across India for five years (from 2014-15 to 2019-20) to generate electricity in the 500 – 1000 MW range. A budget of Rs. 8,100 crores had been set aside to build a minimum of 50 solar parks in India. Karnataka is the top ranking solar state in India. Here, Pavagada Solar Park has a current installed solar capacity of 600 MW which is to reach 2000 MW by 2020.
Low Tariffs and Looming Danger
However, with today’s low tariff of solar power, there arises a major problem: the fear of country’s major solar projects turning unviable. The prime driver of this crisis is clearly a cut-throat competition in the industry. For example last year in April, some 30 developers had lined up for an auction of 750 MW of capacity at the Bhadla Solar Park. Aggressive bidding results in dealers settling for lower prices. The reverse auction process, thus, reduces tariffs even further.
Towards A Brighter Future
With an ambitious target to produce 100 GW of solar power by 2022, risks of grid congestion and ensuing power limitations in India amplify the possibility of future monetary loses. So while we are considering the paybacks of investing in solar power and how it will help us create a better tomorrow, free of pollution and full of greenery, we need to keep a check on potential future perils. If everything goes on the right track, investment in solar power would be a titanic success for India in the days to come.