Rise of solar power in India and what’s the future

The growth of solar power in India is very rapid.

What is solar energy?

Sunlight or solar radiation is the electromagnetic rays emitted by the sun. It produces heat and light.

Solar energy transforms the sun’s light and heat into any other form of energy (green energy) by using various technologies. Solar radiations are harnessed by photovoltaic cells and concentrating solar thermal power.

Every part of the world receives solar radiation which depends on various factors such as location, season, time of day, etc. The sunlight that reaches directly to the earth’s surface through the earth’s atmosphere without any loss is known as direct sunlight.

And the amount of sunlight that is absorbed, scatter, or reflected by clouds, dust, air molecules, etc. is known as diffused solar radiation. 

How solar energy works?

Solar energy is converted by solar cells and concentrating solar-thermal power (mirrors that are concentrating solar radiation).

Both of these methods are commonly available in your surroundings.

Solar cells or solar panels look like this.

Solar radiations are small packets of energy known as ‘photons’. When these photons strike on the solar panel which is made of semiconductor material, it releases an electron. The continuous motion of electron emission results in the generation of electric current. This phenomenon is called the photovoltaic effect.

This current generated is DC and must be converted into AC with the help of an inverter for household use.

The second method is to capture solar heat and use that heat. A good example of this is the solar hot water heating system, where the heat from solar radiation is through collectors. And the heat is transferred to a water source for heating purposes.

Commonly used solar products

The list of solar products is quite big. Below is the list of commonly used solar products that you see around you.

  • Solar systems
  • Solar water heater
  • Solar lights
  • Solar water pump

Past

How it started

When the first solar power project started

1st solar power plant in India is established in 2009 in Amritsar. The solar power plant is set up by American company Azure power. It is a 2MW solar power project.

Present

Goals and Achievements of India in solar power

Which sector generates how much energy

  • Non-renewable
  • renewable

Comparison between top solar power countries (in installed capacity)

China

China has the largest population in the world (1.4 billion) and perhaps the biggest consumer of electricity 6,875 terawatt-hours (as of 2020).

Here is the full list of the biggest electricity consumers.

A large section of electricity generation still depends on non-renewable sources, which is responsible for GHG emission, and F.Y.I China is the largest producer of greenhouse gas.

To tackle its dependency on fossil fuels and reduce greenhouse gas, China opts for renewable energy.

Today, China has a total installed solar capacity of 306GW (as of December 2021). The distributed solar program is responsible for more than 107GW of installed solar power capacity.

China adds up to around 53GW in 2021 and plans to add 80 to 90 GW of solar power in 2022.

Usa

The U.S.A has installed capacity of solar projects of whooping 71GW. This capacity is providing nearly over 3% of electricity in the united states.

The USA adds nearly 16GW of solar capacity in 2021 and aims to add 21GW solar generating capacity.

Japan

The total installed solar capacity of japan is nearly 72GW with the addition of 8.2GW annual installed capacity.

Germany

Germany is 4th on this list with a total installed capacity of nearly 59GW (as of 1/1/2022). Where 5.3GW of solar power systems are installed in the previous year of 2021. 10% more than 2020.

The largest economy of Europe supplies 10% of electricity through solar energy systems.

Germany aims to increase its installed solar capacity to 200GW by 2030

India

India is the 2nd largest country population-wise (approx 1.39billion). This population consumes a lot of energy. Recently in July 2021, India’s peak power demand touches 200GW.

In India, fossil fuels are the major source of electricity generation, solar and wind energy are the next biggest energy source. Due to this India emits greenhouse gases and ranks 3rd on the list of greenhouse gas emitters.

with an installed capacity of 50GW, (as of 1/1/2022) of solar energy India holds 5th position in this list. And every year India is adding more solar projects to its portfolio.

India plans on achieving net-zero carbon emission by 2070.

Below is the comparison chart between all countries.

Biggest projects of solar power in India

Bhadla solar park, rajasthan

The world’s biggest solar park is bhadla solar park which is situated in bhadla village of Jodhpur district, Rajasthan, India.

The solar park in bhadla village is spread over 14000 acres of land. This park is responsible for producing 2.25GW of solar energy.

Bhadla solar park is a project completed in 4 phases and multiple entities are responsible for its completion.

Phase1 and Phase 2 are completed by Rajasthan solar park development company limited with generating capacity of 754MW.

Phase 3 is completed by Saurya Urja Company of Rajasthan which is a joint venture of the Rajasthan government and IL&FS energy development company and its generating capacity is 1000MW.

Phase 4 is completed by Adani renewable energy park Rajasthan which is the joint venture of the Rajasthan government and Adani renewable energy park with generating capacity of 500MW.

Pavagada solar park, karnataka

Pavagada solar park is located in tumakuru district of Karnataka, India. And this is the 2nd largest solar park in India.

Spread across 13,000 acres of land this solar park is capable of generating 2050MW of solar energy.

Pavagada solar park is developed by Karnataka solar park development corporation limited, which is the joint venture of the solar energy corporation of India (SECI) and Karnataka renewable energy.

The solar park is fully functioning since December 2019.

Kurnool ultra mega solar park, Andhra Pradesh

Kurnool ultra mega-park is responsible for generating 1000MW of energy. It is spread across 5932 acres of land in the Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh. Kurnool solar park is functioning since 2019.

This solar park is set up by Andhra Pradesh solar power corporation jointly with solar energy corporation, Andhra Pradesh generation corporation, and new and renewable energy development corporation.

NP ultra mega solar park, Andhra Pradesh

The solar plant is based in the Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh, India. The Anantha Puram mega solar park occupies 7924 acres of land.

The mega solar park is separated into 2 parts. Part 1 is generating 1500MW and Part 2 is generating 500MW energy.

Rewa solar park, Madhya Pradesh

The mega solar park is located in the Rewa district of Madhya Pradesh and is spread across 1600 hectares of land. This solar plant can generate over 750MW of energy.  Total 750MW capacity is commissioned on 3rd January 2020.

RUMSL is in charge to develop a solar power park in Madhya Pradesh. RUMSL is the joint venture between Madhya Pradesh Urja Vikas Nigam Limited and the solar energy corporation of India. RUMSL is now developing solar parks in the northwest region of Madhya Pradesh. These power plants will generate over 1500MW energy.

The Rewa solar plant is the only power plant to get funding from the clean technology fund.

Top solar companies in India

  • Tata solar

Tata is one of the leading players in this sector. Tata solar installed 15+ utility-scale solar energy projects in India. And deployed more than 1.5GW capacity projects around the world.

The 95MW solar project in dhuravan, Gujarat, India is installed by the tata group. This project alone helps in generating 1,67,262 million energy units annually. More projects of tata solar. (link)

  • Adani solar

Gautam Adani recently surpass Mukesh Ambani to become the richest person in India.

Adani Solar is a subsidiary of the Adani group. Adani solar manufactures the solar PV module. Adani Solar is the largest manufacturer of solar cells and solar PV modules in India and in the top 15 manufacturers in the world.

  • Vikram solar
  • Warree solar
  • Loom solar

India’s goals for future

Future

What to expect from India

How would India grow in the future in solar energy?

Quick summary

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