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Impact of Solar Power in India

Posted on
  • Saturday, 23 January 2016
  • by
  • Rajesh K
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  • The amount of solar energy available for tapping in India in a year is more than the capacity of all the fossil fuel reserves in the country! Solar energy is obviously a natural resource that is available in abundance (and for free) in India, which we have started utilizing in a large scale over the last few years. However, solar power can/should create an even higher impact in the electricity generation scenario in India. 

    As of July 2015, the total installed capacity of solar power in India is around 4 GW, while the total installed capacity of all forms of electrical utilities is around 285 GW. India is ranked No.1 in terms of solar energy production capacity per watt installed. The demand is ever increasing and fossil fuels can only generate so much electricity. Clearly, there is a lot of scope for solar power to create a larger impact in India.

    Top 5 Indian States with Highest Installed Solar Energy Capacity:

    1. Rajasthan - 1199.70 MW
    2. Gujarat - 1000 MW
    3. Madhya Pradesh - 673.58 MW
    4. Maharashtra - 378.70 MW
    5. Andhra Pradesh - 279.44 MW
    Top 5 Largest Solar Power Projects in India: 

    1. Charanka Solar Park, Gujarat - 221 MW
    2. Welspun Solar MP Project, Madhya Pradesh - 151 MW
    3. Sakri Solar Plant, Maharashtra - 125 MW
    4. Green Energy Development Corporation, Odisha - 50 MW
    5. Tata Power Solar Systems, Madhya Pradesh - 50 MW
    Solar power can be installed on unproductive and barren land with a high solar irradiation. These solar power plants need to be connected to the grid, which needs to be arranged by state-run electrical utility agencies. Or, micro grids can be established in the areas surrounding solar power plants and the electricity can be used right there. Micro grids are an efficient way to utilize power as transmission losses are minimized. 

    The requirement of land for solar power projects (6 acres per MW) is similar to other utilities like coal-fired power plants and hydro-electric power plants. Solar power plants are not dependent on supply of raw materials as they receive free sunlight from the sun. Although land availability is a challenge, people are approaching this challenge in interesting ways by co-locating solar panels along with wind energy projects, on the top of roofs of residential and commercial buildings, and even on the top of canals which has an additional benefit of reducing water loss due to evaporation. 

    The Govt. of India has been encouraging solar projects and solar power plants through various schemes and incentives for power producers, large organizations and even individual houses. There is subsidy for solar lanterns and solar pumps for the rural and agricultural sector; there is subsidy for solar water heaters and solar power plants for individual houses; there is acceleration depreciation, capital depreciation, assured power purchase agreements and renewable energy certificates for commercial organizations. 

    As you can see, solar energy has already created a good impact in India, and the demand for solar power is going to only increase and become more popular in the near future. Solar energy has a lot of potential in India and everyone should unite to create an even larger impact that would satiate our power requirements while not harming the nature.

    Read more about Solar Power in India from this Wikipedia article.
    This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.
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