During the previous several years, solar energy has had a noticeable impact on India’s energy situation. Millions of people in Indian communities have profited from solar energy-based decentralized and distributed applications, which meet their cooking, lighting, and other energy demands while also being environmentally beneficial. The social and economic benefits include a reduction in the risk of contracting lung and eye diseases as a result of cooking in smoky kitchens, the creation of jobs at the village level, and, ultimately, an improvement in the standard of living and the creation of economic opportunities at the village level. In addition, India’s solar energy sector has grown to become a prominent player in grid-connected power generation capacity throughout the years. It promotes the government’s agenda of long-term prosperity while also establishing itself as an important contributor to meeting the country’s energy demands and a key role in ensuring energy security.
The National Institute of Solar Energy estimated the country’s solar potential to be around 748 GW, assuming that solar PV modules cover 3% of the wasteland area. Solar energy is one of the primary missions of India’s National Action Plan on Climate Change, with the National Solar Mission being one of them. On January 11th, 2010, the National Solar Mission (NSM) was launched. The National Sustainable Growth Mission (NSM) is a major endeavor of the Indian government, with strong participation from states, to encourage environmentally sustainable growth while addressing India’s energy security issues. It will also be a significant contribution by India to the global effort to address climate change challenges.
The Mission’s goal is to make India a global leader in solar energy by establishing regulatory conditions that allow solar technology to spread as swiftly as possible across the country. By 2022, the Mission hopes to have installed 100 GW of grid-connected solar power plants. This is by India’s Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) objective of 40 percent cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel-based energy resources by 2030, and a reduction of 33 to 35 percent in the emission intensity of its GDP from 2005 levels.
To meet this goal, the Indian government has implemented several policies, including the Solar Park Scheme, VGF Schemes, CPSU Schemes, Defence Schemes, Canal Bank & Canal Top Schemes, Bundling Schemes, Grid Connected Solar Rooftop Schemes, and others.
The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has implemented two programs :
1. Off-Grid Programme
One of the Ministry’s oldest programs, the Off-Grid Solar PV Applications Program, aims to provide solar PV-based applications in locations where grid power is either unavailable or unreliable. The program covers solar home lights, solar street lighting, solar power plants, solar pumps, solar lanterns, and solar study lamps, among other applications.
Solar pumps are an important part of the solar off-grid program because they provide dependable irrigation in rural and remote places. Solar photovoltaic water pumping systems may readily cover the irrigation needs of small and marginal farmers’ landholdings. As a result, solar pumps are being employed to replace the existing diesel irrigation pump. Up until March 31, 2017, stand-alone solar pumps were part of the Off-grid and Decentralized Solar PV Applications Scheme. The Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthan Mahabhiyan (PM KUSUM) initiative, which aims to install new freestanding solar pumps in off-grid areas, was recently announced by the government.
2. Grid-Connected Programme
The Indian government has set a goal of installing 100 GW of grid-connected solar electricity by 2022. To meet this goal, the Indian government has implemented several policies, including the Solar Park Scheme, VGF Schemes, CPSU Schemes, Defence Schemes, Canal Bank & Canal Top Schemes, Bundling Schemes, Grid Connected Solar Rooftop Schemes, and others. Various governmental initiatives are also being implemented to encourage the development of grid-connected solar power facilities. India recently ranked fifth in the world in terms of solar power deployment. In the last five years, solar power capacity has expanded by more than 11 times.
Sources and references : https://mnre.gov.in/solar/current-status/