Solar energy is non-polluting, clean, reliable and renewable source of electricity. It does not pollute the air by releasing harmful gases like carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide and sulfur oxide. Solar energy does not require and fuel and thus avoid the problems of transportation of fuel or the storage of radioactive waste.
• With about 300 clear, sunny days in a year, India’s theoretical solar power reception, on its land area is about 5,000 trillion kilowatt-hours. Assuming the efficiency of PV (Photovoltaic) modules as low as 10%, this would still be a thousand times greater than the domestic electricity demand projected for the year 2015.• The amount of solar energy produced in India in 2007 was less than 1% of the total energy demand.• In 2009 India made a US$19 billion plan to produce 20 GW of solar power by 2020. In January 2015, the Indian government significantly expanded its solar plans, targeting US$100 billion of investment and 100 GW of solar energy capacity by 2022.
• A 35,000 square MW area of the Thar Desert has been set aside for solar power projects by Indian government, which is sufficient to generate power to the tune of 700 to 2,100 GW.
• By September 2014, the installed grid connected solar power had increased exponentially to 2,766 MW.
• India is planning to install the World’s largest Solar Power Plant with 4,000 MW Capacity near Sambhar Lake in Rajasthan.
• Gujarat has been a leader in solar power generation and contributes 2/3rd of the 900 MW of photo voltaic in the country. The State has commissioned Asia’s biggest solar park at Charanka village. The park is already generating 2 MW solar powers out of its total planned capacity of 500 MW.
• The Shri Sai Baba Sansthan Trust has the world’s largest solar steam system. The system is used to cook 50,000 meals per day for pilgrims visiting the shrine, resulting in annual savings of 100,000 kg of cooking gas.
• India currently has around 1.2 million solar home lighting systems and 3.2 million solar lanterns sold/distributed. Also, India has been ranked the number one market in Asia for solar off-grid products.
• In the past three years, solar-generation costs here have dropped from around INR 18 a kWh to about INR 7 a kWh, whereas power from imported coal and domestically produced natural gas currently costs around INR 4.5 a kWh and it is increasing with time.
• The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy provides 70 percent subsidy on the installation cost of a solar photo voltaic power plant in North-East states and 30 percentage subsidy in other regions.