Solar Energy on the Rise
Don’t be surprised if a few years down the line when you travelling by train or air, if you find large patches of land covered by shiny black solar panels. The solar energy targets of India, set forth by the Indian PM, Narendra Modi, are not only ambitious but also crucial in the global sense. One of the most rapidly developing economies in the world, India is leading the charge in making use of as much of this abundant and renewable source of energy as is possible. It falls upon the officials and corporates now to help the prime minister achieve his vision.
It was back in June 2015 that the Union Cabinet approved of the plan to increase the country’s solar capacity target by as much as five times to a 100,000 megawatts by 2022. That is roughly one-third of the country’s current total energy generation capacity. The major chunk of this will come through roof-top enabled installations which will account for up to 40% of this target, the rest will be made up through medium and large scale grid-connected projects. With abundant sunshine available in the country through the year, this plan is not only feasible but crucial to India becoming energy independent in the coming years. Being energy independent is a necessity for an economy such as India as it would remove the burden of dependency from imported fossil fuels and put the focus where it needs to be, on renewable sources.
The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy is reported to have commissioned solar power units to the tune of 12,000 MW by 2016 and there are tenders worth another 15,000 MW that are in the works. There is a rapid ramp up in the process, something acknowledged by even the reputed US based Institute of Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. There are a number of projects and plans that are actively being put in place so as to make sure that this target is achieved, and it does seem very achievable the way things are going today. A green energy system will not only add diversity to the country’s energy needs but also increase employment and give momentum to an industry that needs to be given its due.
National forecasts have predicted up to $ 6-7 billion worth of capital-equipment market and close to $4 billion in annual revenues for grid connected solar projects over the next decade. The previous governments too were also pro-renewable energy as is adequately shown by a 100% Foreign Direct Investment opportunities for renewable energy generation and distribution projects. With a variety of excise duty waivers and subsidies being afforded to this industry, the solar energy market is going to see a massive upswing in the coming years.
Increased use of solar energy would not only keep in check the increasing pollution levels in developing countries like India but also make sure that the energy independence of the country is finally established. The primary step here is however in the hands of the corporates. Be it the steel making fraternity or the oil industry, it is of greatest import that they shift focus on providing the country better technology to harness solar energy and help make this vision of 100,000 MW by 2022 a reality.