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Sunny Side of India

14-09-2017 10:30 AM | Lathika Saju | My Indian Dream

Sunny Side of India | My Indian Dream

Sunny days in India as solar power gets a boost.

When I was at the Cochin airport my eyes fell upon a model project enclosed in a glass case. It showed that the airport relied solely on solar power for its entire energy needs. It is in fact, the first airport in the world to be entirely powered by solar energy. Today, with its solar power plant it produces more energy than it needs and banks the rest with the State Power Grid for rainy days and night time requirements. The Cochin airport is a very good example that can be followed by a developing India who’s Prime Minister has pledged to reduce carbon emissions.

At present India is going through a rapid phase of industrialization. India is also endowed with very large coal deposits which means Indian emissions are set to soar. This makes it difficult to fulfill the PM's promise of cutting carbon emissions because India being a developing country, it needs to industrialize quickly and cheaply. In this context, it is great news that solar power is getting so cheap that it is increasingly replacing fossil fuels. Renewable energy resources have become unstoppable now. Soon, in many places it will be cheaper to simply scrap coal plants and build new solar plants in their place.

All of this is great news for the climate. Clean energy like solar and wind energy should be harnessed so that economic growth need not be halted in order to save the planet, as climate activists had assumed.

For a solar project, there is guaranteed supply of the input(sunlight) at zero cost for the entire life of the project, resulting in highly predictable and low risk profitability. This year India has achieved a milestone in solar power capacity addition. Cumulative solar capacity including roof top and off-grid segments had crossed  10,000 MW  in the country. The PM has outlined his vision of increasing country's solar power capacity to 100,000 MW by 2022.

Bengaluru has the largest deployment of roof top solar water heaters in India. These heaters generate an energy equivalent of 200 MW.

Bengaluru is also the first city in the country to put in place an incentive mechanism by providing a rebate of Rs. 50 on monthly electricity bills for residents using roof-top thermal systems. These systems are now mandatory for all new structures.

Pune  has also recently made installation of solar water heaters in new buildings mandatory.

The Kamuthi Solar Power Project in Tamil Nadu with 648 MW capacity at a single location gives the state the distinction of having the highest installed solar capacity in India.

Rajasthan is one of India's most solar-developed states with districts like Jodhpur owning 42 projects totaling 293 MW followed by Jaisalmer and Bikaner. A Mega Green Solar Power Project  is being built near Sambhar Lake in Rajasthan. Upon completion, it will be the world's largest solar power plant. It is expected to be built in 4 phases, with the first phase likely to be commissioned by the end of 2016 with 1000 MW capacity. .

The State of Gujarat has commissioned Asia’s largest solar park at Charanka village. The park is already generating 2 MW solar power out of its total planned capacity of 500 MW. The park has been functioning on a multi-developers and multi-beneficiaries paradigm, and has been awarded for being the most innovative and environment-friendly project by the CII (Confederation of Indian Industry).

An upcoming 750 MW solar power plant project in Madhya Pradesh in the district of  Rewa , when completed, will be the world's largest solar power plant, replacing the Desert Sunlight project in California which currently has that distinction.

The pace of solar power projects have increased tremendously in the last two years owing to strong government support and increasing price competitiveness of solar power. It is heartening to see that solar power is getting a thrust in India so that it could replace fossil fuels thus reducing emissions that is endangering our planet through global warming.

About the Author


I love to read and am passionate about writing. I like to absorb ideas and information and spread it among my readers. After all, knowledge is always an asset.
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