Will the next five years record a paradigm shift in the way India manages its energy requirements? Will India be able to reduce its dependence (almost 70% on coal) and engineer a shift to solar energy?
Rooftop solar systems are a reflection of people’s participation, and hence will mirror the success of solar acceptance in India. MNRE is promoting it in a big way, and the enhanced target for rooftop is 40 GW. Currently, less than 1% energy needs are being met by solar in our country. A huge chasm is to be covered. So, are we ready for the big leap?
The future looks promising, and much of it has to do with the following benefits to the three key stake holders: the consumer, the utility company and society:
Benefits to Consumers:
- Generate own power and be independent of utility companies
- Insulated from future price rise of grid electricity
- Utilization of idle roof space
- Free from hassles relating to land acquisition, permits, etc., associated with ground mounted systems
- Contributing to mitigation of climate change
- Possibility to enhance building aesthetics
- Earning money when excess electricity is exported.
Benefits to Utility Companies
- With buildings generating their own electricity, load on grid is lessened leading to less frequent power outages
- A more stable grid and more satisfied customers
- Helps extend power to those who do not have access to electricity
- Earn good image for promoting green electricity, get better ratings and receive greater financial assistance from multiple agencies for similar projects
- Rather than spend money on setting up coal plants, money saved could be diverted to strengthen grid infrastructure and cut down transmission losses.
- Reducing transportation of coal (that chokes the rail network) and the need for storage
Benefits to Society
- Greater energy security and conservation of foreign resources
- Less smoke from burning coal and a healthier life
- Conservation of water as electricity is generated without use of water
- Reduce energy poverty and improve quality of life
- Greater economic prosperity for the nation