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Solar Energy In India

A sunset in India showing solar energy.

Solar energy in India is one of the fastest developing industries in the country. In this article we take a look at what makes India an ideal candidate to benefit from solar energy and the progress the country is making when it comes to installing solar technologies.

Solar Resources of India

The geographical location of India makes way for lots of clear, sunny days throughout the majority of the year. This abundance of solar energy resources provides a viable means of generating electricity for a large proportion of the population.

A report released in 2014 by India’s Ministry of New & Renewable Energy estimates the overall solar power potential of the country at just under 750 GW. This is more than double that of the entire installed electricity capacity of India, which in July 2016 was just over 300 GW.

The following map of solar resources in India highlights the potential that solar power has in the country. From the map, we can see that around 50% of the country has the potential to generate anywhere between 1,900 and 2,100 kWh/m².

Solar Resource Map of India

Source: GHI Solar Map © 2016 Solargis

India’s Solar Power Capacity

In recent years, India has seen a boom in the installation of grid-connected solar power. A press release by India’s Ministry of New & Renewable Energy from August 2016 estimates that the solar power capacity of the country stands at 7,805 MW.

Data released in May 2016 by India’s Ministry of Power, Coal and New & Renewable Energy shows there has been a 157% increase in solar power capacity between 2015 and 2016 of 4,132 MW. More information can be found here.

For the same period, the country also saw its highest ever number of solar water pumps installed, totalling 31,472. This figure alone is greater than the total number of solar pumps installed since the launch of a programme in 1991 that provides off-grid and decentralised solar applications for providing irrigation and drinking water.

The Future of Solar Energy in India

The future for India’s solar energy industry looks good. The country is running the largest renewable energy expansion program in the world and is currently on track to increase overall renewable capacity by more than 400% between 2014 and 2022.

This will take the country from 32 GW of installed renewable energy capacity in 2014 to 175 GW by 2022, and out of this capacity 100 GW is to come from solar power alone. Wind power in India will also see a boost, providing a total installed capacity of 60 GW.

India’s bold ambitions when it comes to renewable energy will have many benefits for the country. Many jobs will be created in the renewable energy industry as a result of this and the country will benefit from the consumption of environmentally friendly power.

Overview

India’s renewable energy revolution has only just begun. Over the coming years, India will invest in its future by taking advantage of its available solar energy resources. This will have many benefits for the country by cleaning up the environment and boosting job prospects.