Why solar? Why now?

India’s solar market is pushing it’s horizon as well as the government is pushing itself through it’s limits to produce most of country’s energy from renewable sources. As of April 2017, India touched a maximum capacity of 12.28 GWs, a rise of more than 75% over last year. This will make India third biggest solar market worldwide. All these facts bring us to a few crucial questions. Why do we need solar energy now, more than ever before? How it can help Industrial as well as commercial customers in India?

4 MW horizontal single-axis tracker in Vellakoil, Tamil Nadu

The generation of solar energy happens in day hours which are peak-demand hours in any industrial region of our planet. This brings down the peak energy cost for industries and well as households drastically. Equipment used in solar power generation demands very low maintenance which is beneficial for large firms which aspires to become emission free. This also means that firms can put all their energy and focus towards production and growth rather than legal matters which often arises from environmental authorities like National green tribunal. Often larger production firms find themselves in a mess of legalities over environmental concerns.

Let’s have a look at India’s reception of energy from sun. India being a tropical country receives adequate solar radiation for 300 days, amounting to 3,000 hours of sunshine equivalent to over 5,000 trillion kWh. Almost all the regions receive 4–7 kWh of solar radiation per sq mtrs with about 2,300–3,200 sunshine hours/year, depending upon the location.

Solar irradiance map of India

Another big thing to keep in mind while thinking the answer to the question ‘why solar?’ is power losses in our country. Electricity losses in India during transmission and distribution have been extremely high over the years and this reached a worst proportion of about 24.7% during 2010–11. Theft of electricity in India amounts to 1.5% of its GDP is a major setback for our economy. If one state in India goes fully solar it will produce surplus amount of power which can be sufficient for a neighbouring smaller state. in short — ‘no power cuts’.

And we should should not forget the bigger view. our environment. Nowadays humans have a tendency to trust the authorities so blindly that we think that they will take us out of any disaster. But it will be hard for even government to tackle what is coming. Each day we are getting more reliable on fossil fuels by manufacturing more cars, getting more planes in service etc. food and resource supply, our defence services, even the basic foundation of our daily life is dependent on fossil fuels and it can not be easily undone. What is required? — to think of it as our duty to save ourselves by taking small steps in the right direction. Sun is the key.