India is emerging as a world leader in solar. As the third largest solar market globally1, a market that is growing by 90%, making the potential of solar in our country quite tremendous.
Prime Minister Modi inaugurated the International Solar Alliance – an alliance of solar potential rich countries – on the first day of the UN Conference (that also delivered the world’s long awaited global climate agreement aka The Paris Agreement).
So not just the market, but also the political will in the country for solar is stronger than it has ever been. However, there are several hurdles that still need to be cleared.
This 100 kWp stand-alone solar plant at Tangtse, Ladakh, supplies electricity to a clinic, a school and 347 houses in this remote location, for around five hours each day.
The country’s target is to achieve 100 GW of solar by 2022. Though we have increased the installed capacity of solar almost 6 times in the last 3 years, we are still at a meager 12 GW of installed capacity. Even in Delhi where Greenpeace has lobbied for a Solar Policy and made inputs into the Net Metering Guidelines, the uptake of rooftop solar remain disappointing.
On the other hand – air pollution accounts for 1.2 million deaths every year according to Global Burden of Diseases. This costs India 3% of its GDP. While the state and central governments are yet to recognize air pollution as a national health emergency, it is important that citizens of India take initiative and move away from thermal power. Solar policies have already been put in place by various state governments and citizens need to shed their inhibitions and avail their benefits.
Air pollution makes our monuments unrecogniseable
Image: Sudhanshu Malhotra/ Greenpeace
Not only does it help lessen pollution but it also drastically reduces or even eliminates your electric bills. Whether you’re a homeowner or a large corporate hub, a school or a mall – electricity costs can make up a large portion of your monthly expenses. With a solar rooftop plant, which is a one time investment, you’ll generate free power for your system’s entire 25+ year life cycle. Even if you don’t produce 100 percent of the energy you consume, solar will reduce your utility bills and you’ll save money – especially because residential electricity prices have been going up and will continue to rise in the foreseeable future.
By investing in a solar energy system now, you can protect against unpredictable increases in electricity costs. If you’re a business or homeowner with fluctuating cash flow, going solar also helps you better forecast and manage your expenses. The use of solar energy can also increase your property value.
Sekar Srinivasan’s home in Bangalore, runs completely on solar
Image: Vivek M./ Greenpeace
For retired Delhi resident Mr.Pankaj Rajpal (link story) it brought down his bills from 8500 INR to 1500 INR. He will recover his investment in 3-4 years and have reduced electricity bills for the next 2 decades.
Greenpeace India can facilitate if you want to #GoSolar too. Just leave your details here with us and we will get back to you.
Pujarini Sen is a Climate and Energy Campaigner at Greenpeace India