Ease of doing solar: Driven by the sun

Defining India’s 'Ease of Doing Solar'

Solar energy has picked up pace in India’s ‘Age of Acceleration’, but what is driving solar in India?

According to Shri Jayant Sinha, Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Government of India, a significant driver of India’s rapid solar capacity expansion is the positive response created after solar deployment, which is creating “positive feedback loops”. These ‘loops’ are of immense significance to the sustainable development community because of their impact in India’s renewable energy push.

Addressing a Valedictory Session at the WSDS 2018, Shri Sinha spoke at length about India’s solar drivers that include the pace of solar technology innovation, and the corresponding beneficial impact on the price of solar energy; the infusion of the Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI), which is enabling India to put in place distributed power systems, and manage them under controlled parameters that would have been unimaginable and unconceivable five or ten years ago; and battery technology. The kind of durability, safety, and price provided by lithium-Ion is extraordinary, according to him. Further, he referred to it as beingcapable of unleashing a “genuine revolution in energy systems”.

Driven by the sun

Inia’s distributed energy systems are entering the mobility space, not only three-wheelers but also two-wheelers. India, the world’s largest maker of two-wheelers, produces 18 million two-wheelers a year. The infusion of solar energy can transform the entire two-wheeler ecosystem by using distributed energy with solar panels, according to Shri Sinha.  Similar applications of batteries, electric motors, and software can be used for drones as well.  Clearly, distributed energy can transform a variety of sectors.

Ease of doing solar: Challenges

India must make “very big bets” to unlock the potential of this big ecosystem, Shri Sinha said, referring to the technology standards and regulations needed. This also necessitates interaction with industry leaders, working with global leaders, and fine-tuning strategies dynamically.