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Friday, 29 August 2014

Solar Energy: Crucial Component of India’s Energy Portfolio in the Next Decade

Last updated: May 13, 2017

Economic growth and Welfare of a country:

Electrical power is one of the most crucial component for the economic growth and welfare of any country. Adequate electrical infrastructure and its further development is essential for sustained growth in our country also. Indian power sector, one of the most diversified and rapidly growing power sector in the world, generates electricity from conventional sources such as coal, lignite, natural gas, hydro, nuclear power etc. and from non-conventional sources such as wind, solar, biomass etc. 

National Solar Mission:

In order to meet the increasing demand for electricity in the future, huge addition to the existing generation capacity is very much needed. The objective of Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM) is to establish India as a global leader in solar energy by creating conducive conditions for its large scale diffusion across the country. The mission will accomplish its objectives in three phases with the 3rd phase ending by 2022 (the end of 13th FYP). 

Ambitious target of  “Solar India”:

The mission under the brand name “Solar India” set an ambitious target of adding 20 GW of grid connected and 2 GW of off-grid capacity by 2022. The target was later revised in June 2015 and enhanced to 1,00,000 MW by 2022. This 100 GW capacity will comprise of 40 GW of Roof Top Solar PV system and 60 GW large and medium scale grid connected solar power plants. Success in solar energy capacity addition will require a long-term commitment and a sound understanding of local dynamics.

India; the third biggest solar market in the world:

Several studies on electricity demand growth of the country, cost, availability and the environmental factors associated with fossil fuel, declining trend noticed in the cost of solar energy related equipment, awareness among the general mass and government efforts were carried out. Based on these studies, few predict that the solar power generation capacity could well exceed 100 GW by 2022 and India’s solar energy market could be of billions of dollars in the coming decades. Some predict that by 2017-18, India will become the third biggest solar market in the world.

It is expected that the per unit cost of energy generated by conventional power plants and that by solar power plant will be the same by the year 2017-18. In the initial stage the government support and subsidy is going to fuel the promotion of solar energy whereas in the later stages rising demand and favorable economics will drive the mission. 

Mechanism to Boost Solar Energy: 

Mechanism such as Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO), Renewable Energy Certificate etc. are going to boost up the confidence of investors and the participants. It is also expected that local players are going to dominate the solar energy market with their services which includes project development, installation and distribution.