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POWER OF PHOTOVOLTAICS

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The sun is a very powerful source of energy.Sun, you are massively enlarged mass of fiery energy, which pervades everywhere like air and sky, I bow down to you O Sun, who is the Lord of all the worlds". The significance of solar energy has been known from centuries, but its utilization for energy generation only began from last few decades.Mankind has turned towards many different technologies for renewable energy, but it is the solar PV (photovoltaic) technology which has proved to be the most promising way of harnessing energy cleanly. A land area of496,805 sq.km (combined area of Maharashtra and Gujarat states of India)is enough to power up the whole world using the solar PV.So, don't be surprised if everything around you is powered by Solar in the near future.

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) in Paris, France has concluded with an agreement to keep maximum global average temperature rise as close as possible to 1.5C. The fundamental reason for global temperature increase is CO2 emission. The electricity generation alone is responsible for 35.2 % of the total CO2 emissions of the world. So, the world needs to shift towards the renewable resources to cope up with climate change. Solar PV is the answer; it is cost effective, reliable and green.

Currently, the solar PV is on an all-time high demand.The current installed capacity of solar PV is near to 13 GW, which makes only 4% of the total power generated in India. Government of India is eyeing a mammoth 100 GW of solar capacity by 2022. With this step India will become one of the greatest countries of the world in solar energy power generation. So, the solar PV capacity in the country is increasing every day to meet its target. Also, its cost has drastically reduced to almost 3 Rs. per unit, which is even cheaper than the current grid rates in India. This makes solar PV cheaper than any other existing technology.

FEASIBILITY OF UTILITY AND ROOFTOP SCALE PV PLANTS IN INDIA

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In the recent years utility scale power plants have seen a major boost in India. India currently boasts close to 13 GW of power from utility scale solar energy plants. The western states of India are blessed with adequate solar radiation compared to the other states. Hence, such states form a prime spot for installing large scale solar power plants or utility scale solar power plants. With governments push to set up atleast 50 solar park of (minimum) capacity of 500 MW, utility scaled solar power plants shall be set up within all the states in India. These plants can promptly fulfil Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) of the utilities while powering the grid with clean and green energy. Further this shall also enable the country to meet its target of 60 GW by 2022.

The trend in solar prices has been adventitious. The tumbling down prices from INR 13/kWh (Figure 1) to as low has INR 2.44/kWh in mere 6 years has been staggering. This change is attributed to the attractive policies and enabling regulations from the government. Additionally the intense competition in reverse auction with reduced borrowing rates, drastic reduction in prices of (Chinese) solar module has been key factors (to name a few) in this price development.Figure 2 below presents a tentative breakup of utility scale solar power plants. It is clear that while there is reduction in module cost, it would take a major chunk of while setting up a power plant.