Solar Energy is the fastest growing and cheapest source of energy. India has the leverage of harnessing this renewable energy that can be converted to electrical energy for power-consuming corporates and for other commercial needs.
With this, several companies have started providing commercial solar power solutions to create awareness about consuming solar energy instead of grid electricity. Solar panel installation is a win-win situation since it can work for about 25 years; also the total expense of installation can be easily recovered in the next few years.
India’s Fate in the Solar Market
The government of India is encouraging people to adopt solar rooftop installations that can aid in reducing environmental destruction, which can be resolved by utilizing solar energy. India is pushing ahead in its effort to build a 100GW of solar electricity capacity and 40GW of rooftop solar capacity by 2022.
Is it really working?
Unfortunately, India’s grid-connected power generation capacity has increased 4% from January to October 2018 and currently stands at 347GW, as reported by Economic Times. The question that might pop out is how can we achieve it?
According to a book published in 2018 titled ‘Taming the Sun: Innovations to Harness Solar Energy and Power the Planet’, the author Varun Sivaram mentions that the Earth is not capable of harnessing the full potential of sunlight that reaches the earth’s surface. Instead, only 2% of global electricity is generated by solar.
So, how can we harness more solar energy?
Innovations in solar can be beneficial for optimum use of the sun’s rays. The book also suggests that three types of innovation can increase and improve the long-term prospects of solar energy. They are as listed below:
Various solar innovations can bring down the cost of solar equipment and expand its applications.
It is necessary to handle the intermittent drops in voltage and power surges.
A report by Deloitte and Climate Investment Funds (CIF) speaks about the various issues faced by India like lack of low-cost financing, lack of awareness, and inadequate rooftop aggregation model that are hindering the growth of MSMEs.
Policymakers should work more on encouraging solar innovations that might help in bringing a change.
Highlighting Issues Hindering India’s Solar Market
- Foreign investors are scared to invest in Indian solar projects due to the constant falling value of the rupee. In India, infrastructure investment trusts can attract investors to buy shares of companies with solar projects.
- The falling prices of silicon are hindering the solar manufacturing market. Thus, we need materials that are cheap and efficient. Perovskite is one such material that can initiate our solar energy.
- They bless India with abundant energy but
needto invest in innovative technologies and systems to fulfill their future needs.
Solar Energy for Sustainable Development
Solar energy is one of the many interventions that have surged in the market that speaks about sustainable development. This clean and renewable source of energy can fuel the development of India with smart, eco-friendly solutions.
With a decrease in capital costs and efficiency improvements, the government facilitates benefits and incentives for the adoption of solar panels. This paves the way for innovative solar-powered technology and gives a great opportunity for startups and solar panel installation companies.
An Urgent Need to Innovate the Renewable Energy Sector
With our ever-growing population, solar energy is the key to producing clean energy. As the country is rooting toward smart cities, modernizing grids, prioritizing sustainability, and promoting efficient solar energy.
Technological innovations should be made keeping in mind environmental solutions. The government needs to come up with policies that are viable even in rural areas. Power-consuming companies are adapting to sustainable development by changing to smart innovations like:
- Floating photovoltaic power plant – It is helpful in cities that are devoid of electricity and have enough water bodies.
- Grid-Connected photovoltaics.
- Intelligent lithium-based batteries that stores energy obtained from rooftop solar installations.
7 Eco-friendly Innovations that may Enhance Clean Energy
Windows with solar panels can work as vertical power generators
With huge buildings rising each year, the normal glass windows can be replaced by solar panels that provide the necessary power supply to the building.
Made with organic photovoltaic technology (OPT), these solar windows are similar to normal windows. Inventors are also working on switchable solar windows that may change their color in the presence of the sun.
Metropolitan cities with 50-story towers, skyscrapers, and commercial buildings can utilize this innovation that can reduce carbon emissions significantly.
Solar-powered automobiles to avoid the use of fossil fuels
Following the stride of the solar-powered bus, the airline industry has come up with a solar-powered plane that comprises of 17,000 photovoltaic cells that can work for days.
This can be an effective alternative to save depletion of the ozone layer and reduce carbon emissions.
The emergence of solar into the fashion world
Can you ever imagine your gadget being charged using your wearables or accessories? This is a reality in some countries at least.
Solar outfits are the new trend. It involves creating apparel and accessories that can charge your gadgets.
A fashion designer in Dutch made this possible wherein she has prepared her own collection of outfits that can generate one watt of electricity that can charge your device. There are more to come with watches, glasses, jewelry, and backpacks.
Generating solar power for everyday use
Scientists in Finland have created tree-shaped solar equipment that converts solar energy into electrical energy. This can be used to charge your smartphones and even electric vehicles. These huge tree prototypes can be placed in open places like parks, universities, railway stations, and likewise.
Purifying saline water through solar desalination
Solar desalination is a process of extracting salt and minerals from saline water and providing potable water for all. This innovation can help the rural and remote areas that don’t receive clean drinking water. With this, water-borne diseases can also be reduced which is a huge concern in villages.
India too joined the bandwagon by installing a 10,000 liters per day desalination plant in Tamil Nadu. With this, Kotri village in Rajasthan has started offering 500 liters of clean drinking water to villagers so that they don’t need to walk miles in search of water.
The influx of BioSolar cells to improve photosynthesis
Using photovoltaic cells, scientists are researching the role of photobiological cells. BioSolar cell technology focuses on the process of photosynthesis wherein plants prepare their food using sunlight. Using these cells, you can enhance the efficiency of the process of ‘photosynthesis’.
Using bloom algae to enhance solar panel efficiency
Marine biologists in Sweden have worked on increasing the efficiency of solar panels by combining it with a controlled bloom of diatom algae. Algae bloom means the increase of the algae population in freshwater or marine water.
The pilot study suggested that the efficiency of this type of solar panel has increased by 4% even in low light.
These commercial solar power solutions should be used by metro cities like Mumbai, Banglore wherein there are huge possibilities to conserve solar energy that can be utilized to prepare solar-equipped workspaces and thus adding value to the whole working experience.
Solar Energy: A Boon to Mankind
The onset of solar energy intervention can bring a revolution in both urban cities and rural villages. Solar energy has the power to empower households, institutional infrastructure, and urban infrastructure raising the living standards of the people and a step toward a cleaner and greener future.
But, the situation is even worse in the villages!
About 300 million Indians lack access to electricity while other 10 million have access to less than four hours a day, as quoted in the ‘The Climate Group’ report.
India ranks third in the entire global population that is devoid of electricity. 28th April is remembered as a historic day when the Central government announced 100% village electrification. Despite all these efforts, there are villages that are living in adverse conditions without any basic amenities like drinking water, electricity, and sanitation.
The Ministry of Power released a report in April 2019 claiming that 6,19,289 villages have been electrified in India under the flagship of PM Narendra Modi’s Saubhagya scheme which reflects on utilizing solar power. Despite continuous efforts, there are villages that are still using kerosene lamps and woods for cooking. Isn’t it a sad story?
The Future of Solar Energy lies in Photovoltaic
Off-grid solar PV power is the future for a better India. Solar power is gaining popularity but a very less population is aware of it. Both urban and rural areas need to be in the loop and take advantage of this immense natural gift for India’s development. There are various solar panel installation companies that facilitate all services related to installation. Choose to go solar-powered!