Solar Power Projects in India

Being positioned in Earth's equatorial Sun Belt, India gets profuse solar radiation. This daily radiation from Sun as well as the extent of sunshine is measured in India by the different radiation stations maintained by the India Meteorological Department. The major hunk of India experiences a clear bright weather for 250 to 300 days per year.

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Though it's being observed that northern Gujarat, Rajasthan and parts of Ladakh region receive the maximum annual global radiation but Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and some parts of Andhra Pradesh don't lack much behind as compared to other places. Research shows that annual worldwide radiation fluctuates from 1600 to 2200 kWh/m2 which is equivalent to almost 6,000 million GWh of energy a year.

The dense population and high amount of solar insulation makes the country lead all other places in wind power generation by providing a perfect amalgamation of solar energy. It's recommended by some famous think-tanks that India should take up a policy to develop solar energy as the main element of the renewable power combination. India has kept aside a 35,000 km2 region of the Thar Desert which would suffice in generating 700 to 2,100 gigawatts for the proposed large solar energy projects.

Solar energy, though reckoned to be one of the chief environment-friendly energy resources, includes both positives and negatives. The most important advantages of it are that solar energy can be restored.

In July 2009, a $19 billion plan of generating 20 GW of solar energy by 2020 was disclosed by India which made it a mandate to use solar-powered applications and equipments in every government buildings, hotels and hospitals. On November 18, 2009, India declared to launch its National Solar Mission, a part of the National Action Plan on Climate Change with an aim to produce 1,000 MW of energy by 2013.

Though the percentage of solar energy generated in India is only 0.4% compared to different resources but till October 2009, the country shared the first position with the United States in regards to Solar Power production capacity. Due to its high primary price of deployment, Solar energy is prohibitive at present and it can be promoted to a flourishing solar market only if the technology becomes competitively cheaper by attaining cost uniformity with nuclear energy or fossil.

The numbers of solar appliances used in India are mentioned below:
  • Home illumination systems: 342,607
  • Solar road lights: 55,795
  • Solar photovoltaic energy plants: 1566 kW
  • Solar lamp: 560,295
  • Box-shaped solar cookers: 575,000
  • Solar water heaters: 140 km2 of collector area
  • Solar photovoltaic pumps: 6,818
A number of solar power projects in India have been undertaken for the proper utilization of solar energy in India. Indian Government has promoted the utilization of solar power through diverse strategies. The government, in the budget for 2010-11, has allocated an INR 10 billion towards establishing a Clean Energy Fund and the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission which is an increment of INR 3.8 billion from the last budget. The new budget has even reduced customs duty by 5% on solar panels as well as exempted the excise duty levied on solar photovoltaic panels just to encourage the privately run solar companies with an expectation to minimize the solar panel installation in roof-tops by 15 to 20%. A coal duty of USD 1 per metric ton on both imported and domestic coal was proposed in the budget.

Among the other solar power projects in India, The Indian Government has recently approved a solar mission which aims to diminish the cost of electricity produced from solar power to equalize that with fossil fuels by 2030 that projects a colossal increase in installed solar capacity. This mission is quite ambitious to create 20 GW of solar power by 2020 which would again be increased to 100 GW and 200 GW by 2030 and 2050 respectively.

India's solar power projects include the mission to make solar lights accessible from 20 million households by 2020, thereby saving 42 million tonnes of CO2 release annually. Indian Government is even planning to form a solar account with a primary investment of $1.1 billion. This fund will be build up by exhausting fossil fuels along with the power produced from them which is 0.1% for every kWh generated. Varied regulatory measures and policies which includes mandatory usage of solar energy in India to generate 5% of total production in existing thermal power plants and installation of rooftop photovoltaic panels in government buildings will promote this plan. Grid related producers will be allowed to sell surplus solar power to utilities and solar-power projects will get a 10 years tax holiday. Other positives include finance provided by banks on a priority basis and the industry will be advantageous to enjoy duty-free import of raw resources.

Last Updated on : 23 September 2010


India Non Conventional Energy