If Japan has the right to be known as the Land of the Rising Sun, India could well claim to the title of the Land of the Shining Sun. This is because India experiences tremendous sunshine throughout the year. There are many places in India such as Rajasthan and the south part of Tamil Nadu where you have more than 330 days of sunshine in a year. Hence, there is tremendous scope for solar energy in India.
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A tremendous source of renewable energy
The demand for electricity in India far outstrips the supply. Hence, you have virtually every state having a deficit budget as far as electricity consumption is concerned. This opens up the possibilities of exploring alternate sources of energy. The most common among them are wind energy and solar energy. Generating power from wind requires several things to fall into place at the right time. We do not deny that there is no scope, but the solar energy in India is a better option considering the fact that sunlight is a free natural resource.
Understand the demand for solar energy
People have doubts about the solar energy scope in India because of the solar energy cost factor. Installing a solar power plant for commercial production is not so easy. This is why the Government of India has come up with various subsidies to encourage people to shift over to solar energy in India from other conventional modes of electricity.
India has ambitious plans of achieving 175 GW of energy from renewable sources by the year 2022. Out of this target, solar energy in India is the prime area of concentration with an allocation of 100 GW. You will be surprised to note that the present install capacity of solar power is just around 15 GW (Source –MNRE Website – Figures as on 31 October 2017). This will give you a fair idea about the scope for solar energy in India.
Incentives available in the solar sector:
Considering the demand for solar energy in India, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has announced maximum assistance of Rs 18000 per KW with a maximum covered capacity of 0.5 KW in the residential sector. There is a similar benefit in the commercial sector as well with a maximum financial assistance of Rs 5500 per KW with a maximum covered capacity of 2.62 KW.
This is the solar energy subsidy in India as far as individual units are concerned. The respective State Governments have additional subsidies depending on the procurement capacity and the demand-supply position in India. Rajasthan is the leading provider of solar energy in India. Hence, you have a different scheme for solar energy subsidy in Rajasthan.
What are the advantages and disadvantages for the MSME sector with regard to solar energy in India?
Investing in a solar power plant is one MSME activity that is gaining in prominence ever since the government of India announced its solar energy policy. Let us look at the advantages of solar energy in India :
- Contribute to the national grid
- Sell electricity generated by solar power to state electricity corporations
- Sell power to private organizations through the State Electricity Corporations
- Use the power so generated to compensate the electricity bills you generate in your other businesses
- Trade in Renewable Energy Certificates issued by the MNRE
Similarly, one should also be aware of the disadvantages of solar energy in India
- The initial cost of installing a solar power plant unit is high
- Contend with red-tapism at various levels
- Takes a long time for you to break even thereby causing a financial strain
We have seen the position of solar energy in India. There is tremendous demand for the same. With the abundance of available resources, the time is conducive to investing in solar energy in India.