This post attempts to look at a Few Facts about Solar Energy and they are -
- Solar Energy i.e. the Energy received from The Sun is the only source of Energy which provides 2 Sources - Light Energy and Thermal / Heat Energy.
- Solar Thermal Applications have been in use for quite sometime in the Indian context especially because of increased awareness and Government subsidies. Primarily Solar Thermal Applications include Water Heating - at Industrial & Domestic level, Drying Applications, Process preheating in Industries etc.
- Recently Solar Thermal is also used for generating power through super-heated steam.
- Light Energy of The Sun is primarily used for day-time lighting applications and also power generation.
- Power generation by using Light Energy of The Sun is done through Photo Voltaic Solar Panels. PV Solar panels are basically solid state electrical devices which generate electrical power when Sunlight is incident on them - either directly or diffused.
- India has a peak deficit of about 10% (as per CERC) and even though there are aggressive plans to add Power Generation capacity it may not suffice due to ever-increasing demand for Power and hence Solar Power Generation is being considered as the most suitable option considering geographic conditions.
- India has one of the worst T&D (aka ATC Losses) of around 30%. Solar Power can be effectively utilized for decentralized PV Solar Power Projects wherein losses are negligible or zero especially because of generation-load proximity.
- Solar Energy is gaining lot of interest especially because of excellent radiation (also known as Solar Insolation) across the Country - which can be seen in the Solar Radiation Map.
- PV Solar applications at a small scale have been in use for long to power small devices - watches, calculators, lanterns etc.
- PV Solar as Power Generators is a relatively new but an emerging concept in India. Globally PV Solar Power Projects have been installed at various levels with Germany leading the PV Solar installation capacity with an installed capacity of 17,000 MW.
- Another advantage of PV Solar is that it has nearly ZERO running or operational cost associated with it - which no other technology can offer.
- Government initiatives (at Central and State level) have been very encouraging at various levels. It is estimated that PV Solar Power capacity which is around 140 MW (as on Nov 2011) will be 3000 MW++ by 2013 - a quantum leap !
- Grid parity is a term to judge a technology's commercial aspect with respect to other technologies. In case of PV Solar price parity has been reached if compared with DG Sets and hence DG Sets prove to be an ideal candidate for replacement by PV Solar.
- The primary reason why PV Solar is not able to pick up is because of lack of awareness and various Myths about PV Solar. If appropriate information is communicated then PV Solar will certainly be the Power of choice.
The response has been phenomenal with several key players already considering the Projects that have been identified at their locations. The most attractive part is the Government offers excellent benefit for not only grid-feed projects but also captive consumption projects that an Industry would like to opt for. These incentives also protect the Industries from ever-rising power prices.