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What Is The Economic Impact Of Solar Power In India?

What Is The Economic Impact Of Solar Power In India?

Growth Of Solar Energy In India:

India is rapidly shifting toward a sustainable energy mix to meet its consumer power needs. It is the world's third-largest producer and fourth-largest user of power. Going solar is a big step in today's environment of climate change and growing energy bills. There are signs that the government's large investments and supportive position are beginning to pay off. The dropping cost of renewables makes these alternate sources more practical to investigate. In fact, new solar and wind-powered energy sources are currently 20% cheaper than the average wholesale price for existing coal-fired power. Policymakers and shifting markets can both help the move away from fossil fuels.

For an economy that is still heavily dependent on coal for 60 percent of its energy mix, going solar is a huge step. Policymakers have overwhelmingly backed the proposal. An ambitious target for renewables has been established under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's energy policy, with the goal of increasing renewable power on the grid from about 57GW in May 2017 to 175GW by the end of 2022. Solar photovoltaics are estimated to provide around 100GW of that capacity (PV).

India has already installed 23 GW of solar electricity, with another 40 GW in various phases of bidding and installation. The transformation of India's energy landscape is unavoidable, as the percentage of renewable energy grows fast. India has already surpassed the United States to become the world's third largest solar power market, and its growth is likely to accelerate in the coming years.

What Are The Economic Impacts Of Solar Energy?

Lowers Utility Bills:

Lowering your power costs is one of the primary advantages of using solar energy for you and your family. The solar energy produced by your solar panels can balance your home's electricity use and lower the amount you spend for utilities over time. Some power providers also allow you to sell extra solar energy to the firm (net metering) in order to offer greener energy to people in your neighborhood. This can also help you save money on your monthly energy expenses.

Government Incentives for Installing Solar Panels:

Due to the obvious environmental benefits, the national government and most state governments provide incentives to install solar panels. These solar tax credits and incentives can also help you save money, particularly on the cost of your solar system. Cash refunds are another incentive that might help you pay for a solar system or gain economically from the energy.

Source Of Independent Energy:

Natural catastrophes such as hurricanes, floods, fires, earthquakes, and others affect people all over the world. Many of these calamities have the potential to cause power disruptions. You will be able to help your local economy by supplying electricity during these situations by using solar energy. When other sources of energy are unavailable, the sun will continue to create electricity, and your family and community will benefit from this in an emergency. Furthermore, solar energy can assist to mitigate the impacts of global warming, which creates some calamities.

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Vast Job Opportunities:

Impacts to Soil, Water and Air Resources

The solar workforce is a great example of how solar energy may assist your community's economy. The solar workforce creates employment and supports families in your town, which benefits everyone in your community's economy. Solar jobs are growing year after year as more individuals install solar panels. Over 242,000 individuals were recently employed in the solar business. Because these positions cannot be exported, they will continue to rise year after year.

Environmental Costs Of Solar Energy:

Land Use and Ecological Impacts:

Solar energy installations require enormous areas for energy gathering in order to generate power on a utility-scale. As a result, the amenities may conflict with current land uses and have an influence on the utilization of regions such as wilderness or recreational management areas.

Energy footprints can become more large when energy systems influence land through material discovery, extraction, manufacture, and disposal. As a result, some of the lands may be used for energy in such a manner that restoring to a pre-disturbed condition requires a considerable amount of energy or time, or both, whilst other uses are so dramatic that the alterations suffered are permanent.

Impacts to Soil, Water and Air Resources:

The development of solar facilities over large expanses of land necessitates clearing and grading, which causes soil compaction, changes to drainage systems, and increased erosion. Central tower systems necessitate the use of water for cooling, which is a concern in arid environments because an increase in water demand may strain available water resources, as well as chemical spills from the facilities, which may result in the contamination of groundwater or the ground surface.

The growth of solar energy generating plants, like the development of any large-scale industrial facility, might endanger air quality. Such hazards include the discharge of soil-borne diseases, which causes an increase in air particulate matter, poisoning water reservoirs.

Heavy Metals:

Some contend that the most recent market technologies, notably thin-film panels, are made using hazardous heavy metals such as Cadmium Telluride. While it is true that these hazardous materials are used in the manufacture of solar panels, coal and oil also include the same substances that are emitted upon burning.

Furthermore, coal power plants produce far more of these hazardous compounds than solar panel makers, polluting up to 300 times more.

Recycling Solar Panels:

Impacts to Soil, Water and Air Resources

Currently, there aren't enough sites to recycle old solar panels, and there aren't enough non-operational solar panels to make recycling them economically appealing. Solar panel recycling is especially significant since the materials used to produce the panels are rare or precious metals, with all of them containing silver, tellurium, or indium. Because recycling the panels is limited, those recoverable metals may go to waste, potentially resulting in resource shortage difficulties in the future.

Consider silicon, which is required to make the majority of today's photovoltaic cells and is currently abundant; however, a silicon-based solar cell requires a lot of energy input in its manufacturing process, with the source of that energy, which is often coal, determining how large the cell's carbon footprint is.

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The lack of awareness about the manufacturing process of solar panels and the issue of recycling them, as well as the lack of much external pressure, are the causes of the inability to drive significant change in the recycling of the materials used in solar panel manufacturing, a business that already has great environmental credibility from a power-generation standpoint.

Political Implications Of Solar Energy:

Electricity is inextricably linked to India's political economy. Solar power has dropped from Rs 12 per unit in 2010 to Rs 2.44 per unit in recent years, making it comparable with the operating expenses of coal-fired power. What does this approaching change signify for India's long-standing link between energy and politics? Will RE be incorporated into the present pattern of accommodation: political patronage and subsidy payments through the energy sector? Or, with its ability to be offered at small sizes and at utilization locations, would renewable energy cause a revolution in electrical politics, and if so, how?

Energy experts  argue that disruptions in Indian energy are extremely likely to imply disruptions in Indian politics and economics; any tale of Indian political economy in the future decade is incomplete without an examination of energy-driven transformations. This strategy succumbed to the strains of democratic politics in a poor country; electricity as a facilitator evolved into electricity as a source of welfare. Because the electrical industry is connected to other sectors of the economy both upstream and downstream, any disturbance in the energy sector is likely to reverberate across other political and economic arenas.

Renewable energy debates have remained focused on technological issues and limitations. Those who support this move see it as an unavoidable transition to renewable energy, freeing power from ecologically destructive fossil fuels. Skeptics of the renewable energy transition argue that any RE future is a long way off—RE currently accounts for about 9% of total energy consumption, compared to 78 percent for thermal (CEA 2019)—and highlight the difficulty of "intermittent" renewables, which are dependent on when the sun shines and the wind blows.

Significant uncertainties regarding the rate and nature of technological innovation, as well as institutional and political inertia, imply that it is far from apparent how these disruptions will play out.

The transition to solar energy is more than just replacing one technology with another; it is about transitioning from one interconnected configuration of technology, institutions, and politics to a radically different one. Significant uncertainties regarding the rate and nature of technological innovation, as well as institutional and political inertia, imply that it is far from apparent how these disruptions will play out. This is likely to be a lengthy transition, with overlapping hybrid coexisting arrangements, allowing for major contestation over the rate and character of change. In the meanwhile, we should expect a hybrid, fast shifting power system with very widespread spillover effects on the nation's political economy.

Way Forward:

Nurturing the Indian Solar Sector is critical for creating the future of renewable energy and controlling solar development prices at a time when indigenous manufacturers are struggling to compete with Chinese enterprises, both technically and economically.

Building local capacity and developing technology will be defining issues for India's solar sector in the next few years. This is especially true for small-scale roof-top solar panels, which are price-sensitive.

With a profusion of superior solar technology, inventive ideas, and solar power system design software, India remains an ideal location for an industry that may also help it fulfill its global climate change goal.