View: India’s future use of renewable energy depends on innovation

Fossil fuels are embedded in almost every sector and industry for power generation. However, they lead to an increase in the levels of greenhouse gases, which in turn leads to cataclysmic changes in climatic conditions. As a viable solution, renewable energy tops any discussion that takes place to stave off the adverse implications of climate change. This is due to the fact that clean energy sources such as solar do not emit harmful greenhouse gases, which contribute to environmental degradation.

India is also embracing the power of renewable energy. It has already announced its aim to reach net zero emissions by 2070. Furthermore, according to the Ministry of Power, the country is likely to meet 62% of its electricity requirements with 500 GW of non-fossil fuel sources by 2030. However, in In order to successfully achieve its ambitious goal and support the clean energy transition, the country requires the aid of innovations in renewable energy.

Growth of renewable energy
As a step towards growth, India has already taken a giant leap towards utilising renewable energy sources, and solar energy is one of the leading ones. According to the data of the National Investment Promotion and Facilitation Agency, as of May 2023, India’s installed non-fossil fuel capacity was over 178.79 gigawatts, and the number has increased to 396% over the previous 8.5 years. Additionally, since 2009, the capacity of solar energy installations has expanded by a factor of 24.4, and as of May 2023, it was 66.7 GW.

According to the data of the IBEF, among the whole share of renewable power sources, ie, 49%, solar energy contributes an astonishing 14%. Therefore, innovations in solar energy resources tend to shape how India will use renewable energy in the future. A few of the innovations that are already gaining ground in the country are solar rooftop solutions and floating solar panels.

Rooftop solar systems
A rooftop solar energy system reduces the distance from which the energy is transmitted, thus increasing efficiency and cost while reducing reliability on fossil fuels and providing clean energy. By diversifying their energy resources and including solar rooftop installations, industries can ensure energy security and resilience. In addition, they also become less vulnerable to fluctuations in fossil fuel prices, grid outages, and power supply interruptions.

By embracing a solar rooftop, companies can determine their CSR and ESG initiatives, showcasing their efforts and commitment today towards sustainability. As a result, there is an upward trend in solar capacity addition in India due to government support and rising acceptance of renewable energy. According to the data of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, 8,877 MW of rooftop solar capacity was added as of March 31, 2023, as compared to 7,520 MW as of September 30, 2022.Floating Photovoltaics (FPV)
On-land solar PV systems often need four to five times as much space as conventional power plants. As a result, floating photovoltaics, also known as FPV or floating photovoltaics, are used in water reservoirs, canals, lakes, etc. Where floating structures are erected on the water’s surface to mount solar panels for generating power. Although FPV technology is still a new and developing concept in India, a number of projects have already shown how quickly it is catching on. India has already launched its biggest floating solar project at Ramagundam in Telangana. This 100-megawatt (MW) facility has been undertaken by NTPC (National Thermal Power Corporation) and has been set up by BHEL (Bharat Heavy Electricals). Floating solar has a huge advantage in a world that wants to quickly build solar arrays, especially for nations such as India with limited land. The majority of solar panels that have been deployed so far on the planet are situated on land. However, floating solar systems have a special advantage over land-based ones: they free up space for other applications. Therefore, it makes sense to use available water reservoirs while also utilizing the land to build sun-absorbing technologies atop the water.

All things considered, a switch to renewable energy offers not only long-term advantages but also huge commercial potential. India is particularly well positioned to become a global leader in the use of renewable energy thanks to its quick adaptation and proactive attitude. Getting to net zero involves more than just cutting greenhouse gas emissions. The population of India must gain from the country’s energy transformation, and carefully thought-out policies can reduce the likelihood of trade-offs between affordability, security, and sustainability. This means that the net zero goal and the decarbonisation of numerous sectors will be greatly aided by solar energy innovations such as solar rooftops and FPV, which will reshape how the nation uses its renewable resources.

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