Solar energy is now making its presence felt all over the world. The number of solar installations is consistently rising with every passing year, with residential as well as commercial spaces now considering this renewable energy technology. But while the solar energy industry is reaching new milestones, the growth is not in line with what was expected, especially in India.
The benefits of using solar energy for generating electricity are extensive and not very difficult to understand. So, why is the industry not growing as swiftly as it should? It is because there are still plenty of challenges that are holding back the adoption of solar.
Some of the key challenges are as follows –
The biggest challenge delaying the solar revolution is the cost. While solar systems are now not as expensive as they used to be in the past and are easily available, alternative sources of energy are still cheaper than solar energy.
While there have been several initiatives by the government to make solar energy cheaper, the cost is still not competitive with other traditional sources of energy. This is especially true when it comes to power generation initiatives on a large scale.
- Transmission & Distribution Losses
The Transmission & Distribution (T&D) loss is the amount of electricity which is generated but is not able to reach the consumers. At around 20%, the T&D losses in India are almost two times that of the world average. This is mostly because of theft and technical inefficiencies.
This further makes solar energy more expensive for consumers when compared with alternative conventional energy sources.
- Scarcity of Land
India is quickly running out of land, and land scarcity will be one of the biggest problems for our country in the future. As per an Economic Survey, India is expected to be one of the most land-scarce countries in the world by 2050. Increasing population and urbanization are two of the major reasons for this scarcity.
Adoption of solar energy on a large scale would also require a lot of land which is currently unavailable for such applications.
- Uneven Supplies
As the Indian government is focused on making solar energy cheaper, most of the solar system manufacturers prefer exporting their products to earn higher profits. For countries like the USA and Europe, India is an affordable country for importing solar supplies. This makes it a win-win situation for the Indian sellers as well as international buyers.
This has made the availability of solar supplies somewhat uneven in the country and is working as a major deterrent in solar adoption.
- Storage of Solar Energy
Solar panels can only work in the day, as the electricity is generated from the photons present in sunlight. This means that they cannot be used for generating electricity if sunlight is not available.
While there are now measures to store the solar-generated electricity which can be used when sunlight is not available, such measures are not readily available in India. Moreover, they further increase the cost of producing electricity through solar installations.
The Future Still Shines Bright
While there are plenty of challenges in solar adoption currently, India, as well as the countries all over the world, have already come a very long way.
As compared to a decade ago, the challenges have reduced considerably and it is only a matter of time before the current problems are resolved too. The government and enterprises in India are already working together and with consistent efforts can create a greener and sustainable tomorrow.
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