Is India in the Path of Energy Transformation?
How equipped is India to use clean, affordable and reliable solar energy? India comes third in the global energy consumption. The large-scale production and consumption of rooftop solar energy is making the energy grid more reliable, making way for ‘prosumers’ who produce, share and consume energy. This would result in the growing consumption of energy in the future, which is currently less than half of the global average.
Our growing energy demand cannot be satisfied with the already depleting coal resources. Following the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015, India’s energy policy is aimed to reduce emission intensity up to 35% by 2030 while raising the production of non-fossil fuel-based electricity up to 40%. This would help to gain 450GW on installed renewable capacity of which 60% is solar power.
Different steps have been taken to ease this transformation by focusing on the large-scale use of cleaner fossil fuels, bio- fuels, electric vehicles and solar energy. The possibility of achieving greener India through other renewable energy such as hydrogen and geothermal is considered. The corporate giants along with the government are advocating for renewable energy and adopting it into the operations.
India’s solar consumption might not be significant today, but it would certainly spike up in the forthcoming years. The rise in household solar consumption is the very proof of its wide acceptance in the country. India has about 3% of wasteland and according to the National Institute of Solar Energy, if used for installing solar PV modules, it gives a potential production capacity of 748GB.
Below mentioned are the factors that play a vital role in increasing the usage of solar energy.
Domestic Solar Manufacturing
Import of solar wafers, modules, cells etc added up to $2.5 billion in the year of 2019. It would scale up as the solar consumption increases. Domestic solar manufacturing would not only reduce imports but also increase employment in the country, boosting the economy.
Proper Grid Management
Adopting rooftop solar and batteries could be beneficial for proper grid management. ‘Prosumers’ who produce, share and consume energy would be on rise and the aspect of consuming at the point of production reduces pollution.
Solar Energy for Remote Areas
Domestic solar production would benefit villages where grid power is difficult to obtain. Besides, the government’s plan to develop a green city in every state by initiating electric vehicles for public transportation, solar park, rooftop solar, waste-to-energy plants etc would increase the consumption of green energy. In the remote areas irrigation canals are expected to be covered with the solar panels.
There is no question that thoughtful endeavours like these would not only create a greener and pollution-free environment, but also plenty of job opportunities that would definitely result in the country’s economic growth. As long as the Sun is shining above our heads, efficient harvesting of the solar energy would definitely give us long-term benefits.
- PRIYANKA IYER