SOLAR ENERGY IN INDIA (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Env & Eco)

News-CRUX-10     9th May 2024        
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Context: A report by international energy analytics agency Ember recently revealed that in 2023, India surpassed Japan to claim the position of the world's third-largest producer of solar power.

Key findings 

  • India's Ranking: India ranks fifth globally in installed power capacity, with a capacity of 73 gigawatts (GW), encompassing both renewable and non-renewable sources.
  • Japan's Installed Power Capacity: Japan holds the third position globally in installed power capacity, with 83 GW, according to data compiled by Ember.
  • Solar Power Contribution in India: Solar power constitutes 18% of India's total installed electricity capacity of 442 GW as of May 2024, but it contributes only 6.66% to the actual power produced, as per Niti Ayog data.
  • China's Dominance in Solar Power Production: China stands as the leading producer of solar power globally, generating 584 billion units (BU) in 2024, surpassing the combined production of the United States, Japan, Germany, and India.
  • Growth of Solar Generation: Global solar generation experienced exponential growth, surpassing six times its 2015 levels by 2023. India, in particular, saw a 17-fold increase in solar generation during the same period.

o The share of solar generation in India's electricity mix surged from 0.5% in 2015 to 5.8% in 2023.

India’s Status in Solar Power

  • Solar Capacity: Installed solar energy capacity increased by 30 times in the last 9 years, reaching 81.81 GW as of Mar 2024.
  • Solar Potential: India's solar energy potential is estimated to be 748 GWp according to the National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE).
  • Vision 2030: A Renewable Revolution: India's vision for 2030 emphasizes renewable energy dominance and green growth to combat climate change and facilitate energy transition.
  • Net Zero Carbon by 2070: Aiming for long-term sustainability, India aspires to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2070, demonstrating its commitment to environmental stewardship.
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