India has immense potential of solar energy though there are regional variations in its developments. Elaborate. (250 words) [2020]

India has immense potential for solar energy, with 5,000 trillion kWh per year of energy incident over its land area. Most parts of the country receive 4-7 kWh per sq. m per day, making it an ideal location for solar energy development. However, regional variations in solar energy development in India can be attributed to differences in solar radiation levels, policy environments, and other factors.

  • High solar radiation levels: India receives high levels of solar radiation throughout the year, particularly in the northern and western regions, making it an ideal location for solar energy development.
  • Large land area: India’s vast land area provides ample space for solar energy projects.
  • Ambitious targets: India aims to achieve 175 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2022, expanding to 500 GW by 2030.
  • Solar parks: India has established 42 solar parks to make land available for solar plants.
  • Regional variations: Gujarat, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, and Andhra Pradesh have higher solar radiation levels and more favorable policy environments, making them attractive for solar energy development.
    • Example: Bhadla Solar Park in Rajasthan is India’s largest solar power plant, with a capacity of 2,250 MW.
  • Less favorable regions: Eastern and north-eastern states have lower solar radiation levels and less favorable policy environments, hindering solar energy development.
    • The eastern and north-eastern states contribute only 1.91% of India’s total installed solar power capacity.
  • Solar energy technologies: India adopts various solar energy technologies, including solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, solar water heaters, and solar cookers, to meet its energy needs.

India has significant potential for solar energy development, but addressing regional variations is crucial for equitable growth. By focusing on regions with high solar radiation levels and favorable policy environments, India can harness its solar energy potential and contribute to a sustainable energy future.

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