SOLAR INDUSTRY - A WAY FORWARD
Out of the 5 types of Renewable Energy - Wind, Solar, Biomass, Geothermal Energy and Hydroelectric Power, Solar Power is the most sought after and is a fast developing industry in India. In January 2015 the Indian Government expanded its solar plans, targeting US$100 billion in investment and 100 GW of solar capacity including 40 GW from rooftop solar by 2022. India's initiative of 100 GW of solar energy by 2022 is an ambitious target, since the world's installed solar-power capacity in 2017 is expected to be 303 GW. The improvements in solar power technology in recent years has made this task achievable as cheaper solar power need not depend on costly and polluting coal! gas/nuclear based power generation for ensuring stable grid operation.
In addition to its largescale grid-connected solar PV initiative, India is developing off-grid solar power for local energy needs. In 2015 only 55 percent of all rural households had access to electricity, and 85 percent of rural households depended on solid fuel for cooking. As the country has a poor rural electrification rate, Solar products like solar cookers, lanterns, solar home lighting systems and street lighting have increasingly helped to meet rural needs.
Withabout 300clearand sunny days in a year, the calculated solar energy incidence on India's land area is about 5000 trillion kilowatt-hours per year. The solar energy available in a single year exceeds the possible energy output of all of the fossil fuel energy reserves in India. India has an estimated renewable energy potential ofabout 900GW from commercially exploitable sources including Wind - 102 GW; Small Hydro - 20GW; BioEnergy - 25 GW; and 750 GW of Solar Power. If this potential is utilized then India has the capability of generating more energy than India's total energy consumption per year.
Speaking at the conference, Former Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Mr. S. C. Tripathi, spoke about how development is about harnessing and accessing sources of energy. He also added that the taxation system should be such that it encourages Make in India, referring to the higher GST on finished products and lower rates on components. Harnessing Solar Energy is a long-term project and must be
dealt with in its entirety. This means the short term as well as long-term measures need to be taken.
Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Union Minister of State (IC) Culture and Environment, Forest & Climate Change spoke about how a win-win situation needs to be created for the Nation and for business ventures. He said that the government is encouraging innovations though programs like Make in India, Skill India and Startup India to create a clean and pollution free India. He spoke of how about 60% of villages in India only receive electricity for 3-4 hours in a day. He, thus, emphasized the need for young people to innovate and solve the power needs of the country. It is also important for India to counter Chinese Competition.
Dr. K. D. Gupta, Chairman, IASRD and ASSOCHAM National Council on Waste and Water Management, spoke about the need to patronize R & D. This, he said, is essential for India to meet the target of 100 GWby 2022.
A knowledge paper titled Sustainable Solar Industry - A Way Forward was released during the conference. This was followed by technical discussions on Optimization of Solar Industry for Sustainable Solar Power and Innovative Technology and Investment Opportunities to develop Solar Industry. Technical experts and distinguished dignitaries included Former Director BHEL and Founder President, EMPI Business School, Mr. Gurnam Saran; Chief Electrical Engineer/ Planning, DMRC, Mr. Manjul Singhal; CEO, Skill Council for Green Jobs (SCGJ),Dr. Praveen Saxena; Director (Scientist F), Ministry ofNew and Renewable Energy( MNRE), Dr. P. C. Pant; Former Vice-Chancellor and Founder President 'Environment and PeaceFoundation', Professor (Dr .) Vi rend ra Go swami; and Mr. D. S. Raw at, Secretary General, ASSOCHAM, amongst many others.
India could make renewable energy resources the backbone of its economy by 2030, curtailing carbon emissions without compromising its economic-growth potential. A study suggested that 100 GW of solar power could be generated through a mix of utility-scale and rooftop solar, with the realizable potential for rooftop solar being 40 GWby 2022.
(L-R) Dr. K. D. GuptaChairman, IASRD
& ASSOCHAM National Council on Waste & Water Management,
Mr. D. S. Rawat - Secretary General, ASSOCHAM, Mr.
S. C. TripathiFormer Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas, Chief Patron IASRD, Mr. Subhash
C. Agarwal, Chairman, (SMC) & President IASRD, Mr. ~ Gurnam Saran - Former Director BHEL& Founder President, EMPI Business School.