Powering India: Go Solar

Cary, NC, USA, July 1: One more home in Harmony community has gone solar, 24 modules of solar plates on the slanting roof matches with the original roof. I saw it happening in my morning walk. In US, there is hardly any power outage. Dependence on electricity is very high. Big refrigerator, washing/drying machine, air conditioning system, big ovens- all consume a lot of power. Electricity bills are high. Any saving on that is a major saving. The system will save anything between 60-100 percent of household energy requirement. The utility firm that supplies electricity will buy solar power generated. It will reduce or eliminate the bill for the home owner beside raising the sale value of the home. And American home owners are installing these rooftop solar system in big number in the states where the tariff is very high.

In California, the commercial businesses, from almond orchards in the Central Valley to hotels in San Francisco, are installing energy storage for backup power and to avoid costly charges for electricity during peak usage hours.

Palo Alto-based Tesla, best known for its all-electric Model S sedan, besides offering the residential energy storage units to customers through SolarCity, where Tesla CEO Elon Musk serves as chairman, Tesla is making much larger-scale energy storage systems for commercial businesses at its Fremont factory. With the lithium-ion battery technology, which powers Tesla’s cars, it aims at revolutionising both the electric vehicle and energy storage markets. And next to come is the Tesla’s “gigafactory”for battery production that is expected to produce more batteries than currently are being made globally. The batteries will not just be for Tesla’s cars but also for stationary storage.The customers including homeowners installing the system ultimately will get the storage systems fully connected to the electric grid of their local utility.

For a country like India that has acute shortage of power and too with unbearable climatic condition, the popularisation of roof top solar will be big saviour. New Delhi, Noida, Gurgaon, Faridabad, and the urban region of the whole of North India will be the best place to go for the revolution with clean energy through solar power.

However, the electricity supplying companies will have to cooperate in the project with a missionary zeal. Only genuine and strong solar energy providers with good accreditation must enter the sector, otherwise the users may find themselves cheated with false promises of advantages and poor quality of installations. The project will need a lot of education and marketing too.

As per the media reports, many states and cities in India are having the plan to go solar in phases. But it has still not reached the required momentum. And million of prospective clients in urban and rural areas are eagerly waiting to see solar helping them.

India can sort out its energy problem with solar route.The PM has called for a “saffron” revolution, or rather a shift away from the current fossil fuel based energy system towards one that is based on non-fossil fuels and in particular, solar energy.

Jaitley’s budget has hardly any mention on household rooftop solar installations. He perhaps skipped it as it would have meant further pressure of subsidy load of the government. But his power minister must discuss about the various problems in bringing about this energy revolution to cut down the grid load during peak hours, particularly in satellite towns such those in NCR that suffer most in summer.

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