Distant second is Small Hydro and Biomass with around 3 GW of installed capacity each. Solar Energy - which has just started picking up - is just over 1 GW.
- Solar radiation across 85% Country can be termed as good to excellent and hence majority of Country is ideal for use of Solar Energy. As compared to this Wind Energy can only be used in around 30% of the Country as per CWET.
- Cost - which plays a major factor in deciding the success of a RE - is a bit higher for PV Solar. However the cost of power generation from PV Solar has come down significantly in recent times and now the cost of generating PV Solar power is almost at par with that of wind. With advancement in technology and opening up of new markets cost of power generation from PV Solar will continue to come down and PV will perhaps achieve absolute grid parity in India by 2014/15.
- Life of a PV Solar project is around 25 to 30 years with appropriate warranties for major components in place. Moreover the wear and tear is very low as in a static PV Solar system there are no moving parts. This far outweighs the Wind energy which has moving parts and requires periodic maintenance as well - not to mention the loss in output due to maintenance. PV Solar is a fit-and-forget system with upfront Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) and ZERO Operational Expenditure (OPEX).
- Solar PV is highly modular and easily scalable and installations can be as small as sub-kW level as well. Smallest wind turbines are in kW level. Hence PV Solar is the most ideal for decentralized power for home use. For a Country like India which has one of the highest T&D (aka ATC) losses decentralized power will prove to be a game-changer. PV Solar will thus prove a boon for areas where grid has not yet reached.
- PV Solar is the most ideal for captive use for Industrial Plants especially in States like Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh etc. where per cost of power (per kWh) is around INR 6.0 to INR 8.0. It may not be suitable for these plants to go for smaller wind turbines due to maintenance and other issues. More about PV Solar's suitability for Industrial Plants can be seen in our FREE Solar Energy Report.