ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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A Take on Solar Power in India

Rising focus on the increasing awareness of existing solar systems, ambitious plans announced on the amount of solar power generation over the next few years, cancellation of subsidies over a considerable period and their reintroduction, and of course, the “solar scam” are some of the issues at the forefront of green energy in India.

India is a fast growing economy, but power scarcity and diminishing sources of coal and other domestic gases is taking over the country. The rapidly emerging manufacturing sector and increasing energy demand at the domestic front have turned India’s attention towards sustainable energy forms like never before. The country’s economic growth, its rapid urbanisation, and the gradual increase in its per capita consumption are all expected to sizeably increase India’s overall demand for electricity. Indian government has announced that it will achieve the 100 gigawatts (GW) solar power target by 2022. With 8.1 GW, India’s installed solar capacity has experienced an 80% growth since September 2015 (ETEnergyworld 2016).

Conversion of radiations from the sun into electrical energy mostly using photovoltaic cells results in solar power. Geographically, India is a very fitting choice for solar power generation. It is a tropical country and much of it is conveniently located near the equator. It has ideal conditions for harnessing solar power, receiving as it does almost 300 days of sunshine a year (this approximates to about 5,000 trillion kilowatt of power). Regarded as the alpha of all energy forms, solar energy can be used in two basic ways—one being the thermal form for drying, heating, cooking, generating electricity, and the other being the photovoltaic form, whereby solar energy is converted to electricity usable for lighting, pumping, and so on. It is pollution- free, comes with a virtually inexhaustible supply, and has a global spread; all of these make solar a hugely attractive form of energy in these times of global warming (EAI 2013).

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