India Becoming Emerging Market for Solar

By February 23, 2016civic, GOVERNMENT, PRESS, solar
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India is growing as a champion of solar technology, which can be seen in various ways around the country, including installations on rooftops and temples.

The global solar industry has taken significant strides forward this year, with the U.S. generating over 22,000 megawatts of cumulative solar electric capacity. India as well has made great progress, as recently reported by The Economic Times.

India on the Rise

At only one third the size of the U.S., India’s total solar power capacity was measured at 4,878.88 MW on December 11, 2015. Rajasthan and Gujarat were the two Indian states contributing the most energy, at 1,256.7 MW and 1,024.15, respectively.

India’s renewable energy industry — which also includes a substantial amount of wind energy — has attracted foreign direct investments from other countries like Mauritius, Malaysia and Singapore. The Economic Times also stated that India has plans to add 175 GW of renewable energy by 2022, including 100 GW of solar energy.

Signs of this solar growth are already underway. This month, Punjab commissioned a 12MW rooftop solar project. The state is working with Tata Power Solar, an integrated solar power solutions company that manufactures solar parts in addition to building solar projects like this one.

The company claims that the Punjab rooftop will be “the world’s largest rooftop solar power project to be commissioned in a single phase.” It is intended to provide over 15 million kWh of electricity per year, which will lead to huge decreases in greenhouse gas emissions.

With the 100GW goal in mind, it appears that Tata Power Solar will be very busy in the coming years. The company was previously commissioned to build a 2MW rooftop project in Tamil Nadu, which is the largest rooftop solar project in Southern India.

Solar in Developing Countries

For developing countries like India, solar presents a viable solution to electricity shortages. In India, solar is the fastest growing source of energy, which makes sense as it can provide energy to struggling communities, while also helping the country reduce its carbon footprint.

In addition, because solar installments can be deployed without a grid infrastructure, in many cases it is a faster and more affordable option for developing areas.

Solar energy panels have even been installed at seven temples throughout India. The temples use solar energy during the day, but still have to rely on the traditional power grid at night. However, the solar technology has drastically lowered the temples’ energy costs, in some cases by Rs. 10,000, which can be half to a third of a temple’s bimonthly bills. Although not as large as some of India’s other projects, the temple installations show the country’s dedication to solar energy in every possible location.

India, like many other countries around the world, is realizing that solar energy is a highly beneficial long-term choice for renewable energy. Solar energy reduces operating costs, insulates users from fluctuating oil costs, and decreases our global carbon footprint. India sets an excellent example for developing and highly-populated countries to follow.

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