A century old city that has been representing the face of our country and holds the seat of the honorable Prime Minister of the country. Delhi, a word that triggers lots of historical memories in ones mind and I happen to be in this city to campaign with the government to take up solar energy to meet its spiking energy demands.
Solar energy, a term that may sound very alien to many, is a form of energy that's been around for thousands of years aiding civilizations to thrive over centuries.
The primary development of Solar energy into useful electricity came about mid 1950 when the first solar cell were invented. Today after 60 years, its may be one of the best alternatives we might have to mitigate climate change. This technology today is being used across cities worldwide to generate their own electricity without relying on fossil fuels. How does this technology hold good for the city of Delhi? The city is blessed with sunshine all through the 12 months and with average sun hours of 5.5 which is pretty good in terms of electricity generation.
This report Rooftop Revolution- Unleashing Delhi's solar potential' by Greenpeace along with Bridge to India showcases the true potential of solar rooftops in the city. The report puts forward a convincing figure of 2GW of installed capacity by 2020. The findings tactfully segregate the end consumer into four categories viz. Government, Commercial, Industrial and Residential, 339 MW, 251 MW, 377 MW and 1243 MW as their respective potentials. This potential takes up just 1.6% for the city's land which would then fulfill about 9% of the renewable energy purchase obligation.
The report released by former Chief Justice of India, A P Shah (left) in Delhi © Sudhanshu Malhotra /Greenpeace
So what does this mean for a Delhite? This provides an opportunity to generate economically viable electricity either for self consumption or feeding it to the grid
The report put forward a roadmap for phase wise implementation starting with Government buildings followed by commercial and industrial consumers and finally residential consumers. The myth of solar being expensive is long broken, with the soaring power tariff rates, we are nearing the days of grid parity where solar will compete on an equal footing with fossil fuels.
By implementing this roadmap, Delhi can establish itself as the Worlds greenest capital with an installed rooftop solar capacity of 2 GW and growing along with its CO2 free transport systems. I hope this effort is successfully replicated in all other metros in the country and truly become a Sun City.
Find your rooftop potential at www.switchonthesun.in
Anand Prabu Pathanjali is an Energy Campaigner with Greenpeace India.