By Ashutosh Verma
As of April 2020, India has an installed solar energy capacity of 35 GW, very low as compared to the projected target of 100 GW by 2022.
According to the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, recently, India achieved 5th global position in solar power deployment by surpassing Italy. As per the ministry report as on 31st March 2020, the solar power capacity has increased by more than 11 times in the last five years from 2.6 GW in March 2014 to 30 GW in July 2019. Presently, solar tariff in India is very competitive and has achieved grid parity.
If we look at this expansion of the global renewable energy (RE) sector, it has been evident in recent years, that improving energy security by decreasing dependency on finite fossil fuels and delivering climate-change mitigation solutions has helped global players mark a presence and India is one of the leading countries making it happen right.
If we go by the industry insiders, the greatest push for deployment of renewable energy in India has come in by feeding their rising power demands with solar.
With 37.6 GW already installed, India has already achieved its 20GW four years ahead of schedule and plan to target 100 GW of solar capacity by 2022. As per the ministry report, this sudden surge in adoption can be credited to the falling solar panel prices and government-subsidized effort to dominate the industry globally.
India has the potential to generate 35 MW/km2 using Solar PVs and solar thermal energy.
If we talk about the current status of India’s solar energy industry, India has the potential to generate 35 MW/km2 using Solar PVs and solar thermal energy. The National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE) has recently estimated the potential of solar power in India to be around 750 GW with Rajasthan, Jammu and Kashmir (before bifurcation), and Maharashtra to be the top states with the highest solar potential.
If we look at the current status, as of April 2020, India has an installed solar capacity of 35 GW which is very low when compared with the target of 100 GW by 2022.
A comparative study suggests that on a positive note, the solar power capacity of India has increased by more than 11 times from 2.6 GW five years back. In 2019, India had installed 7.3 GW of solar power across the country and established itself as the third-largest solar market in the world and at present we standing with 5th largest installed capacity of solar power in the world.
According to the Central Electricity Authority this year, in the stock market, the share of renewables has increased to 26% and this has happened due to the sluggish demand.
If we talk about the roadblocks in the growth of the solar industry in India, there is a huge list of hurdles. Despite the solar sector getting major policy support by the government and great enthusiasm by the private sector, some issues are stopping the required growth and these include lack of large domestic manufacturing base, import dependence, space unavailability and domestic content requirement (DCR) issues.
We are still in a phase, where we need to understand the importance of the solar energy sector as a solution to most of our pressing issues such as sustainable development, 24*7 electricity and employment generation.
Also, the sector calls for a skilled workforce, which is lacking on part of us, due to the unwillingness of workers to be a part of this growing industry. Another problem that is making it difficult for the market players to expand and grow is the absence of proper finance mechanism, because of which processes are on hold at different levels.
According to experts, another problem which is making India lack is the absence of research and development body at a varied front to make the industry grow.
We are still in a phase, where we need to understand the importance of the solar energy sector as a solution to most of our pressing issues such as sustainable development, 24*7 electricity and employment generation. With #MadeinIndia and #AtmanirbharBharat leading the way in 2021, it is expected that the change will begin at home for a better tomorrow.
(Ashutosh Verma is the Founder of Exalta, a UP-based solar product company.)
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