By 2020, India aims to make solar power much cheaper compared with imported coal, but introducing renewable energy instead of fossil fuels is a challenging project.
The country intends to provide electricity for the entire population, while also reducing poverty and pollution. Even if India can easily rely on wind and solar power, it currently uses gas, oil, and coal as primary sources of energy.
Coal industry provides 70 percent of the total demand of energy across Bangladesh, Pakistan, and India, whereas the other 30 percent is split between gas and oil sections. Although domestic production is expected to increase in the following years, it will take some time to be enough for the entire population.
Therefore, according to the Energy Outlook 2016 BP report, gas imports in India will increase by 573 percent by 2035, coal imports by 85 percent, and oil by 169 percent. These statistics reveal the growing demand that will significantly exceed the country’s resources.
That is why renewable energy is a viable solution to replace these industries. By 2020, large ground-mounted photovoltaic systems will be much more economical than all plants powered by imported coal.
Although coal prices are not projected to increase, PV prices are in a continuing fall meaning that by 2020, solar energy is going to be more economical compared to coal. However, the situation was different a decade ago, when the coal price was three times lower than solar power.
Considering the fact that one gigawatt (GW) is enough to provide electricity to between 750,000 and one million homes in the United States, India will have around 130 GW solar power potential by 2025.
According to former CEO Ajay Goel from Tata Power Solar, the success of this project will provide over 675,000 jobs in the solar power industry on the Indian subcontinent. There are currently 400 million Indian citizens who don’t have access to electricity, but this situation can change if PV systems replace gas, oil, and coal industries.
By 2022, the next target of the Indian government is to achieve up to 175GW in renewable power, meaning 100 GW of solar power. Officials will continue this initiative by trying to harvest as much solar power as possible starting from the end of this year.
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