Solar to smarten cities

India is moving faster on its way towards 100 smart cities, rooftop solar will be a huge opportunity
 Prime Minister Narendra Modi seems poised to make his mission of “100 Smart Cities” a success story. In order to achieve this goal, his government has already planned to invest Rs 7,060 crore. The rapid urbanisation and increasing population are already putting pressure on the country’s resources. No doubt, we can’t keep continue depending on fossil fuels to meet our future energy demands. With the focus growing on 100 smart cities projects, our energy dependency is surely more towards renewable energy sources, especially solar.
Rooftop solar Rooftop solar provides minor peak demand benefit by itself but in conjunction with use of distributed storage, greater benefits can achieve. Rooftop solar peak demand benefit is not large enough on its own to reduce near-term network costs. Rooftop solar will be a huge opportunity in a country like India. There are some limitations which can only be served by off-grid rooftop systems for captive consumption.
Future outlookThe power ministry, facing rising power demand and low installed capacity and acute coal shortage, has been relying on solar power.
India receives one of the highest levels of solar irradiations in the world. The share of renewable energy has gone up from 7.8 per cent in 2008 to 12.3 per cent in 2013. Many of the state nodal agencies have invited tenders to set up huge power plants across the country. Even Indian Railway is considering using rooftop to generate electricity, which is a huge consumer of energy.
Solar energy is still a miniscule percentage of the entire portfolio. In January 2014 the installed grid connected solar power was at 2,208.36 MW, while India expects to install an additional 10,000 MW by 2017 and reach a total of 20,000 MW by 2022.
The challengesReliability of consistent power generationTimeliness of power generationIntermittency of power generationGeneration of power in non-peak demand timesGeneration of power quality issues on the networkInstallations of rooftop solar systemsReliability of rooftop solar technologies.
Government’s approachIndia’s solar mission aims to add 20,000 MW of grid-connected solar capacity by 2022. Power Minister Piyush Goyal has said that India can surpass its target of generating 15 per cent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020. The government is pulling out all stops to achieve that.
The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy provides 70 per cent subsidy on the installation cost of a solar photovoltaic power plant in North-East states and 30 percentage subsidy on other regions. Additionally, the government has initiated a Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) scheme, which is designed to drive investment in low-carbon energy projects.

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