• India, being a tropical country is endowed with plenty of solar energy; hence, exploitation of solar energy becomes an important component of renewable energy sector
  • India is endowed with vast solar energy potential. About 5,000 trillion kWh per year energy is incident over India’s land area with most parts receiving 4-7 kWh per sq. m per day
  • Karnataka leads India’s list of states producing solar energy, with a total installed solar power capacity of about 7,100MW; followed by Telangana, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat
  • Also, India is now the fourth-largest solar power producer in the world
  • In pursuance to enhance Solar Energy production, India along with France launched the International Solar Alliance with the aim to promote solar energy in 121 member countries and to mobilise over $1 trillion of investment for the deployment of solar energy at affordable costs.
  • The target set by India, for installed solar energy capacity is 100 GW by March 2023 — 40 GW rooftop solar and 60 GW ground-mounted utility scale


Impact of solar energy in the Indian energy scenario

    • Solar energy based decentralized and distributed applications have benefited millions of people in Indian villages by meeting their cooking, lighting and other energy needs in an environment friendly manner
    • The social and economic benefits include reduction in drudgery among rural women and girls engaged in the collection of fuel wood from long distances and cooking in smoky kitchens, minimization of the risks of contracting lung and eye ailments, employment generation at village level, and ultimately, the improvement in the standard of living and creation of opportunity for economic activities at village level.


Government initiatives

    • The Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission was launched in 2010, as part of National Action Plan on Climate Change
    • Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Ltd. (IREDA) has invited bids from solar module manufacturers for setting up solar manufacturing units under the central government’s Rs. 4,500 crore (US$ 616.76 million) Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme
    • Development of Solar Parks and Ultra-Mega Solar Power Projects” was rolled out in December, 2014 with an objective to facilitate the solar project developers to set up projects in a plug and play model.
    • Grid connected Solar Rooftop programme has been launched For achieving cumulative capacity of 40,000 MW from Rooftop Solar (RTS) Projects by the year 2022


The Solar Power Potential in Indian states, is indicated as below:


  • The negative impacts of Solar energy, that need to be considered are:
    • Depending on their location, larger utility-scale solar facilities can raise concerns about land degradation and habitat loss
    • The use of wet-recirculating technology with cooling towers withdraw between 600 and 650 gallons of water per megawatt-hour of electricity produced in solar panels. Hence, installation of Solar parks in dry climates can impact water resources in that region
    • Thin-film Photo Voltaic cells used to produce solar power contain a number of more toxic materials that include gallium arsenide, copper-indium-gallium-diselenide, and cadmium-telluride. If these not handled and disposed of properly, these materials could pose serious environmental or public health threats
    • While there are no global warming emissions associated with generating electricity from solar energy, there are emissions associated with other stages of the solar life-cycle, including manufacturing, materials transportation, installation, maintenance, and decommissioning and dismantlement, which are often ignored
      • Most estimates of life-cycle emissions for photovoltaic systems are between 0.07 and 0.18 pounds of carbon dioxide equivalent per kilowatt-hour