As you all might be aware that during these days a lot of activities have been going around across our Solar Industry in India & to list a few of them are Solar projects to come in Rajasthan under Rajasthan Solar Policy, New projects about 200 MW in Madhya Pradesh, Draft Solar Policy of U.P. & especially the news / speculations of soon to be announced solar policy for phase III in Gujarat etc….
Among all this there are lot of questions arising in the minds of people I interact with such as Does solar really have a cutting edge over rest of the RE technologies ? Is it really affordable ? Is is right time to install roof top solar panels to generate electricity ? etc. to which my answer every time is YES, GO FOR IT ! So let us have look at some of the really important factors that play a major role in boosting the affordability of solar in India.
For a growing Country like India more power would be needed with increased affordability. Nearly 40% of the household are without power today and the peak deficit is in the range of 12-15%. Hence the need for electrical power is certainly there – in semi urban areas which suffer from blackouts / brownouts and rural areas where there is no electrification at all. In fact even some of the Tier-1 cities (including Mumbai) suffer power problems especially during Summers also probably Gujarat is the only state in India producing excess power then it’s need.
Renewable Energy Sources are especially important in the Indian context because of large-scale dependence on Fossil Fuel especially Coal which accounts for nearly 60% of power generation in India. Although there are a variety of renewable power options available but it seems that Solar will contribute the max. in India.
Looking at the Indian perspective Solar Energy would majorly evolve as a leader in terms of Source of Renewable Energy as it offers several advantages in a growing economy. Various factors that work in favor of Solar are :
- Excellent solar radiation across the Country ensures feasibility of PV Solar across the Geography.
- With 25-30 years of critical component life (Photo Voltaic Modules) it ensures a long-term, reliable and sustainable power solution.
- PV Solar is truly environmentally friendly with a Energy Payback of 2-5 years which no other renewable energy technology can claim.
- PV Solar can be installed closed to human habitat as it does not cause any health hazard. etc and many more…
While some “Pundits” also suggest that Solar cannot work without subsidies / Government incentives. But looking at the energy demand of India and taking into considerations the latest bidding for Solar PV Projects i.e. for prices as low as INR 7.49 to INR 8 per unit and correspondingly Grid power at nearly INR 5.0 to INR 6.0 per unit almost everywhere across India and in some cases even INR 7.0 to INR 8.0 per unit – Solar PV can easily survive without subsidies or incentives.
Further looking at
- the continuous increase in price to Diesel vs decrease in price of solar pv modules….
- Increasing in Grid power prices / APPC across India vs decreasing of solar BOS prices and most importantly
- looking to the fact that Solar is one-time investment over the period of more than 25 years with nearly zero maintenance if opted for solar plant without batteries as are the cases frequently observed now a days in India with Corporate / Commercial Installations of Solar PV plants.
Point is Solar has already started being affordable in some parts where grid power price is quite high Or for some of the Industries or Commercial Complexes where DG sets are being used. Also apart from this as the Government subsidy being attractive, so any incentive or subsidy / Depreciation benefit should be taken only as a cherry on top of the cake at present times and in future too., instead of totally relying on them. I personally see solar panels generating electricity on most roof tops very soon in near future in India looking to all the factors I highlighted above. So YES people definitely go for it….this is definitely the right time if you are looking for solar installations.
The German government decided to shut down all nuclear power plants by 2022, following the Fukushima nuclear disaster. Those plants will be replaced by renewable energy sources including wind and solar.
If solar can supply half the energy needs of the world’s 4th largest economy on a given day, it could certainly play a bigger role in India’s energy future. !!!!
Why Pundits say that Solar Power ins’t affordable still in India
Solar is not a matter of choice any more !!!!
Meanwhile as the speculations of announcement of phase III of Gujarat Solar Projects is spreading its wings, let us see what lies ahead for Gujarat Solar Mission….
This Blog Post has been edited in August 2012.