Sun is the prime source of energy for our solar system. Solar energy is the source of life on earth. It is important for life process like photosynthesis. Now its property of renewability made whole world to avail it for sustainable development. Last year in 2017 global capacity addition is 105 GW. Out of which 52 GW came from china alone. China became leading power in solar production where India is among the top 4 countries with most solar photo voltaic installed. Under Make in India initiative, India now became leading manufacturer of solar panels in the world. As per a report from Bridge To India (a government initiative for roof top solar power) and Tata solar power, India alone can generate 6.7 lakh jobs in India.
One of the outcomes for COP21 Paris summit, 2015 – International Solar Alliance (ISA) is an international organisation of 120 countries, mostly countries between tropic of cancer and tropic of capricon inaugurated by PM Modi and French President Hollande in Gurgaon in India. India is hosting 2 important international summits this year. One is the founding day ceremony of ISA on March11 and the other is the Second Global Renewable Energy- Invest India- ISA partnership in April. In these two summits ISA is planning to sign 121 solar projects globally. Initially it has signed 9 projects with Saudi Arabia, UAE, Nigeria, India, Spain, etc.
Apart from global contribution, India has started many domestic schemes for promoting solar energy production and utilization in India.
1) In 2010, Government of India launched Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission to promote solar power generation in India. Under this mission, India targeted to reach 20 GW of grid connected by solar power by 2022. In 2015, govt has scaled up the target to 100 GW. Out of which 60 % from scale utility solar power and 40 % from roof top solar power.
2) Government has recently accepted bid for Viability Fund Gap process of solar power generation of 2000 MW in India. This scheme additionally has Domestic Content category in which for 250 MW production solar cells and Modules are to be produced domestically.
3) For implementing schemes in India, government has created Solar Energy Corporation of India and Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE).
4) Government has launched subsidy scheme for promoting Solar PV water pumping system for irrigation and other purposes in 2014.
5) MNRE has proposed SRISTI (Sustainable Rooftop Implementation for Solar Transfiguration of India) scheme solely to incentivise installation of roof top solar projects in India. It has targeted to achieve 40 GW of roof top solar power by 2021-22. Under this scheme, government provides central financial assistance for installing roof top solar power in residential sectors.
In 2018 budget, government allocated 2,045 cr i.e 54% of the total allocations of 3,762 cr for grid interactive renewable energy schemes. Government said these funds to be used for developing solar parks, solar pv projects on canal bank and canal tops, for ultra mega solar power projects and for defence solar. This year budgetary allocations are less than previous year’s allocation of 4,034 cr. But it is higher than last year’s revised estimates.
By February 2018, India reached 20 GW installed solar power out of which 18 GW from scale utility solar panels and 2 GW from roof tops. In the last 4 years solar production increased 8 times because of which solar power unit price has become so low and it is almost equal to thermal power unit price.
In the last few months solar investment sector faced some hurdles like implementation of GST which increased 5% tax on solar panels from zero tax. There are some uncertainties around import duties and future tax rates on existing power purchasing agreements.
Central government initiatives to promote R&D in solar energy are –Techniques like low cost thin film solar cells using spray, Bio solar cells development from Salmon fish DNA which will have high efficiency due to Impact ionisation and improved stability, development of organic solar cells. It has funded National centre for Photovoltaic Research & Education in IIT Bombay to achieve ambitious target of 100 GW within next 4 years. Even state governments like Karnataka took initiatives like Open access policy for solar power projects till March 2018. This boosted the solar capacity of state with additional 1000 MW power in 1 month.
It is the time that everyone should take step towards sustainable development by promoting all renewable, clean sources like solar energy.