Despite Ample Sunshine, Why Isn't India Advancing in Rooftop Solar Power?
Tune In to Episode 5 of Over2Shailja with me your host Shailaja Chandra.
With climate change events and pollution creating havoc year after year, it is in our vested interest to push renewables, non-polluting energy sources like solar and wind to be able to reduce our dependency on thermal power.
But where does the country stand in terms of its solar power availability?
India’s national solar mission was launched in 2010, when just 10 megawatts of solar power existed. The aim was to increase that to a meagre 20 gigawatts by 2020.
In 2015, this low target was raised to 100 gigawatts to be achieved by 2022. Of that 60 percent was to be ground mounted and 40 percent was to be from rooftop solar panels.
By now the overall total solar achievement is 39 gigawatts on the ground and only about 7 gigawatts from rooftop solar panel.
Although the country has notched up several impressive achievements in setting up solar parks on the ground, the use of rooftops to generate solar-based electricity has been rather slow and that makes the target of 100 gigawatts by 2022, hard to achieve.
In Episode 5 of Over2Shailja, the two questions that I seek answers to are:
First, what is holding back owners of colossal vacant terrace spaces — be it in industry, commercial establishments, institutions or households from erecting solar power systems?
Second, with an abundance of sunshine, why has a sustainable option which requires no land and gives a handsome return not taken off?
To discuss the reasons for the gaps and what is being done about it, I speak to four guests from diverse backgrounds — Jeevan Jethani, in-charge of Solar Energy from the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy; Dr Nitin Pandit, who leads ATREE — an energy restoration NGO in Bengaluru; Shravan Sampath, an installer of rooftop systems, and AK Jha who looks after incentivising solar rooftop in the Delhi government.
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