Solar Power Current Affairs - 2020

Investment Capacity of India in renewable sector reached 500-700 billion USD

The Institute of Energy Economics and Financial Analysis published a study according to which India has increased its potential of renewable energy investments to 500-700 billion USD. This is mainly because of improvements in solar power in the country.

Highlights

According to the study, the ultra-mega solar parks in the country have attracted foreign capital. The Bhadla Solar Park in Rajasthan is the largest solar park in the world. It is spread over 14,000 acres. The capacity of the park is 2245 MW of power.

Ultra-Mega Power Plant

The concept of ultra-mega solar parks was framed by India in 2016. In 2016, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy had set a target of setting up of 40 industrial solar parks with a capacity of 20GW. The target was doubled to 40 GW in 2022.

The concept of ultra-mega solar parks involves local distribution companies and the state governments. This is mainly because large areas of land need to be acquired to set up a solar park. And since land is a state subject, state governments should certainly be involved.

International Energy Agency: India the third largest producer of Electricity

On March 19, 2020, the Ministry of Power quoted International Energy Agency ranking in the Parliament. According to the ranking, India is the third largest producer of electricity in the world. Also, it is ranked 106th in terms of per capital consumption.

Highlights

India has now become power surplus from power deficit. Therefore, it is currently focusing on supply of quality power to consumers. As of December 2019, the National Electric Grid had an installed capacity of 368.79 GW.

Issues

Though India has surplus power, the country lacks adequate infrastructure. Still around 136 million Indians use traditional fuels such as agricultural waste, firewood, dry animal dung fuel for cooking and heating needs. This affects their health badly. According to WHO, more than 300,000 to 400,000 people in India die due to indoor air pollution.

Coal based electricity

Today, India’s power production is dominated by coal. As of May 2019, 72% of India’s electricity was generated from coal-based power plants. However, several energy institutes predict that dependence of India on coal is to reduce. For instance, the BP Energy Outlook, 2019 says that India’s primary energy consumption is to decline from 56% (2017) to 48% in 2040.

India is slowly shifting towards other sources of energy, especially solar energy. India has set a target of achieving 175 GW of renewable energy. Of this, 100 GW is to be solar power.