Solar Energy demand globally has been growing at about 30% per annum over the past 15 years. In comparison, the hydrocarbon demand growth rate is 0-2% per annum. India is in the sunny regions of the world with most parts of the country receiving 4-7kwh (kilowatt-hour) of solar radiation per square meter per day, 250-300 sunny days in a year. Even though Solar energy constitutes a minuscule part in India’s installed power generation capacity, in the medium and long run, it is expected that solar energy, especially solar PV will form a vital component of the country’s energy mix.
We often come across industry people babbling words that mean nothing to common man. They are specific to the energy industry and are commonly used when referring to technologies or devices in reference to renewables, PV in particular.
More than 700000 PV systems of capacity over 44MW for different applications are installed all over India. The market segment and usage is mainly for home lighting, street lighting, solar lanterns and water pumping for irrigation.
The main objective of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission is to establish India as a global leader in solar energy, by creating policy conditions for its rapid diffusion across the country quickly and achieve a scale, large enough to drive down costs to levels required to achieve grid parity by 2022.
India has a burgeoning energy deficit and so focuses on developing alternative sources of energy, particularly nuclear, solar and wind energy. About 70% of India’s energy generation capacity is from fossil fuels, with coal accounting for 40% of India’s total energy consumption followed by crude oil and natural gas at 24% and 6% respectively.
India is blessed with an abundance of sunlight, water and biomass. Vigorous efforts during the past two decades are now bearing fruit as people in all walks of life are more aware of the benefits of renewable energy, especially decentralized energy where required in villages and in urban or semi-urban centers.