India, as a nation, has great potential to be the world’s largest solar power producer. With the growing demand for energy and the recent power crisis, India has the opportunity to accelerate efforts to increase solar energy production. Currently, the coal industry produces about 52% of our energy needs, while solar, wind and other renewable energy sources provide just over 26%.
While the complete eradication of coal is not a quick choice for a developing country like India, India’s solar energy efficiency is enormous due to its geographical strategy. According to the Department of Energy and Renewable Energy, India receives more than 300 days of sunlight every year, on average. Possibly, India has access to up to five billion kWh of solar energy. This is more than the amount produced by the amount that comes from all the oil and coal reserves in the country.
The potential for solar growth in India is also reflected in its commitment, made at the recently concluded COP26 conference in Glasgow, to meet 50 percent of its energy needs from renewable energy by 2030. A ‘panchamrit’ message from PM Modi also reaffirms India’s commitment to implement the One Sun One World One Grid (OSOWOG) project. India is making great strides in achieving its target of about 500 Gigawatt (GW) of renewable energy installed by 2030. In this case, the contribution of solar energy is expected to be around 280 GW or 60 percent. India has also made a commitment to achieve the status of net-zero emissions by 2070. With rising global pressure and the current energy crisis, India needs to build on its solar power beyond its existing fossil fuel capacity.
Currently, some Indian provinces such as Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, and Andhra Pradesh have already begun to gain independence in solar energy production. In a recently published report of the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE), Rajasthan has set aside 7737.95 MW of solar energy installed. It was able to increase the installed capacity of 2348.47 MW during the first eight months of 2021. In addition, the Union Department tested the solar power in Rajasthan to be at 142 GW. If the state continues to pursue its plan in an orderly manner, then it is expected to achieve its goal of 30 GW by 2025 and contribute to the vision of Prime Minister Mode to build Atmanirbharta instead of meeting India’s energy needs.
Another rapidly evolving situation in developing a solar power plant is Madhya Pradesh. Developing a 1500 MW Solar Power project for Agar-Shajapur-Neemuch. Upon completion, the project will provide a minimum value of ₹ 2.14 / unit achieved through the now popular auction process. This is good news as this also provides another use case where lower electricity prices are reached at solar power, compared to traditional power. In addition, the Madhya Pradesh government will provide low-cost electricity generated at these solar parks via the National Grid network on Indian Railways in eight other provinces. With a view to expanding the area of Madhya Pradesh in the renewable energy sector, the government has begun construction of the largest solar floating park in Omkareshwar on the Narmada River. Once operational, the project will add 600 MW of fully renewable energy, with a construction cost of about R3,000 crore.
In addition to talking about technology, Madhya Pradesh has taken to another level its commitment to solar power by building a human-focused organization called Urja Saksharta Abhiyan (USHA). This is the world’s largest energy education program to build a caring society. The government will reach more than seven state citizens through a variety of channels. The idea of this movement is to inculcate the habit of saving energy and making it part of daily life. It will focus on educating citizens about the benefits of renewable energy. The government has also contacted farmers who own land under the PM-KUSUM program to set up solar power plants in their areas. This in turn will result in a double benefit of cheap irrigation power and an additional benefit for farmers.
As the Indian economy recovers from the onslaught of the epidemic, various positive developments have taken place. These events reflect a renewed interest in India’s desire for solar and scale, as evidenced by the COP26 conference. Both government and the private sector are meeting in this critical and timely manner, as the economy grows. All we have to do is build on this momentum until we prove ourselves as the greatest solar power on earth.
Source:- The Statesman