On Oct. 2, as the world would observe the International Day of Non-Violence, students in India will take the pledge of ‘Non-Violence to Environment’ i.e., gradual transition towards clean energy by getting trained in making solar study lamps.
On the day, more than 1 lakh students from 550 schools under Student Solar Ambassador Programme, a unique initiative by Ministry of New and Renewable Energy and Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, will be taught about the importance of solar technologies by getting trained in assembly and testing of solar study lamps.
It is expected that students will be torchbearers increasing awareness about solar in the coming years and take the lead in making India greener and sustainable.
Today, first-of-its-kind solar paneled e-boats operate from the beautiful ghats of Varanasi, while Brabourne stadium in Mumbai has the world’s largest solar rooftop. Rajasthan has India-One Solar Thermal Power Plant run by a spiritual group of Brahma Kumaris and Shirdi Sai Temple in Maharashtra has world’s largest Solar System Projects for community cooking. Kerala has the largest floating solar power plant that would generate 7.5 lakh units of power annually, which will be fed to the grid using underwater cables.
Clearly, solar is across India.
It is visible that India is exploring solar energy potential in many ways. In turn, reducing dependency on fossil fuels and contributing towards the government of India’s target of generating 100 GW of solar energy by 2022.
Globally, India ranks fifth in solar capacity. It is making efforts to be the leader in the clean energy sector. The country in this direction took a major step by bringing together 121 solar resource-rich countries on a common platform called International Solar Alliance.
Ministers and representatives from these nations will once again come together to attend the First ISA Assembly having alongside 2nd Global Renewable Energy Investors’ Meet and Expo (RE-INVEST 2018) from Oct. 2 to Oct. 5.
In the last four years, India has shown a nine-times increase in the solar energy capacity, reaching 23.28 GW in July 2018 from 2.63 GW in 2014. In 2017-18 alone, India managed to produce a record of 10 GW of solar electricity capacity and doubled the country’s entire solar base.
Currently, half of the world’s largest solar parks (under construction) are based in India. Bhadla Industrial Solar Park and Pavagada Solar Park have a capacity of more than 2,000 MW each. So far, 41 solar parks with an aggregate capacity of 26 GW in 21 states are sanctioned under Solar Parks and Ultra Mega Solar Power Projects scheme.
The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy through its Rooftop Solar Programme promotes the use of solar panels in residential, commercial and industrial buildings. The sanctions for over 2,009 MW capacity solar rooftop projects have been issued on March 31 and around 1,063.63 MW capacity has been installed. A new online tool, Solar Photovoltaic Installation has been developed for tracking and implementation of Rooftop Programme. A single window portal for providing complete information on rooftop solar and single point clearance for the installation of the same has been developed for Delhi and Andhra Pradesh. It is now being proliferated in other states and union territories.
To provide economical options for meeting the electricity demand in rural areas, widespread usage of off-grid solar application like solar lighting systems, solar pumps and solar LED street lights are being promoted. Over 53.86 lakh solar lighting systems, 1.87 lakh solar pumps, and power packs of 185.9 MW capacity are already installed in the country.
So far, solar projects of around 12 GW are under implementation and tenders for additional 20 GW are already issued. The centre and states are together working in a fast-track mode to implement policies. On the other hand, innovative approaches towards solar power, such as floating solar and wind solar hybrid are being promoted. Besides, the government is also encouraging investors and developers to foray into the renewable energy sector and promoting foreign investment to achieve the target.