We all as part of our school curriculum must have studied about solar energy talking about only eight minutes and 20 seconds to travel to earth. But what we all were not prepared for was the utilization of this energy.
However, with technological advancements being made on a daily basis, we can say that India has never been this well prepared to receive this energy, as its now. Part of the world’s renewable energy expansion project, India is all set to meet an ambitious project target – generation of about 175 gigawatts of renewable energy, of which 100 GW would be generated using the most abundant form of energy, the solar energy.
“From the looks of it seems like, in the coming decade, about 40 percent of the energy that we will be using will be coming from solar energy. At present we are only able to tap 18 percent of this abundant energy,” said Colonel Ajay Ahlawat.
This project, which has a 2022 deadline, no longer be stalled despite it having an estimate of Rs 125 billion cost. “Despite having an enormous budget, this project if judiciously implemented will catapult India to becoming the major solar energy producer. Standing behind China and the US, this definitely is an achievement for India, which dared to dream of being a solar energy producer and began its plans, much after these countries,” pointed out Col Ajay Ahlawat.
To successfully execute this project, India has other reasons too. “The cost of electricity is skyrocketing and so is the consumption. If data is to be believed then today, every Indian household is consuming almost double the energy than it did a few years back. The cost of fuel to generate this huge an amount of power is very high. Not only is it expensive but is also harming the environment,” added Col Ajay Ahlawat.
And he does have a point, for at present most of the Indian power plants are generating electricity using non-renewable sources of energies like coal and natural gas. “Sadly enough, we shall be exhausting these resources are the rate at which we are currently producing power,” pointed out Colonel Ajay Ahlawat.
The fact that India is a tropical country, which receives plentiful sunshine, makes it a top contender for US and China when it comes to harnessing solar power. “We have plentiful arid zones, which receives really strong sunlight. Installing solar panels in these regions can definitely lead to better solar power generation and in ways, it could help us in meeting the increasing demand for electricity,” added Col Ahlawat.
India stands a chance
It has indeed taken China many a year to be where it stands today when it comes to solar energy generation. With more public-friendly policies, it has been successful in converting huge expanse of land and water in solar parks. “With the completion of each of its projects, China inched closer to sealing its position as the world’s numero uno solar power producer. However, with the successful completion of five upcoming solar energy projects, the figures could be a little different in the coming years,” said Colonel Ajay Ahlawat.
By the end of 2022, India looks slated to have set up at least 38 solar energy parks to meet the electricity demands of its citizens. Explaining the better success rate of solar plants, Colonel Ajay Ahlawat said, “Unlike hydroelectricity generation, which needs the construction of a dam, solar parks are easier to build and give a better result. It has far lesser issues. To set up solar plants, one doesn’t need to chop down forests or build dams or displace a certain population. So, we can say that solar plants are better anthropologically and ecologically.”
With a huge expanse of the vacant arid region still being available in India, is making it possible for huge solar parks to be set in Indian states like Karnataka, Rajasthan, Telangana, Gujarat and even Uttar Pradesh.
“Despite the cost of setting up solar panels being low, it’s the institutions like universities, airports and government offices, which are resorting to solar power usage. The common man is yet to warm up to the idea of having a solar panel installed on their rooftops. Sadly enough, even the urban homes and residential societies have not been very enthusiastic for solar energy,” maintained Colonel Ajay Ahlawat.
However, most believe that despite the challenges associated with solar energy generation and creating a market for green energy consumers, this is the future.
“We can’t deny the fact that we are shamelessly exhausting the non-renewable energy resources to meet our present demand for electricity. We thus need to understand that the extinction of such resources like coal and natural gases can actually lead us to a condition, where we might face a huge power crisis. The fact that solar energy gives us a better scope for the preservation of these natural resources along with meeting our present demand, it’s high time that we warm up to the idea of having solar panels installed in our houses,” summed up Col Ajay Ahlawat.