Solar Energy – “Need of the Hour”

In India, around 2.3GW of solar plants were expected to be commissioned from June to August 2020. However, the delivery of these projects has been impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, says Global Data. According to the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), The virus outbreak has botched up the prices for the components of solar largely imported from China, since shipping companies having stopped uploading materials from Chinese ports and transporting them to other countries, including India.

With Millions of people confined to their homes, resorting to teleworking to do their jobs, and a never before seen surge in demand for 24/7 functional hospitals and makeshift medical camps at both remote and inaccessible locations, including trains and vehicles converted into temporarily equipped medical centers to fight the current COVID-19 crisis underpins the need for a reliable source of electricity more than ever.

India has been suffering from a persistent energy shortage with the average demand and supply gap nearing 12 percent of the total power supply. Rising energy requirements are a major factor driving the growth of the solar power sector in India. As we already know, solar energy can be used for diverse purposes. You can generate electricity (photovoltaics) or heat (solar thermal). Solar energy can be used to produce electricity in areas without access to the energy grid, solar lights can be used for illuminating streets, to distill water in regions with limited clean water supplies, to power homes, given the current situations rural hospitals and clinics can function seamlessly adding strength to the fight against COVID – 19.

There is a whole gamut of challenging areas in the power sector that India needs to address on priority in order to meet its growth targets or handle a countrywide pandemic crisis such as this. Today’s crisis highlights the critical value of solar power infrastructure and know-how, which are underpinning the response to the coronavirus pandemic. It also reveals some vital insights about the future of renewable energy, and what policymakers need to do in order to ensure that tomorrow’s systems remain reliable even as they are transformed by the rise of clean energy technologies. Governments are rightly focused on the immediate public health emergency, but they have to remain vigilant on electricity security and safeguard vital assets amid the extreme volatility in markets. In these extraordinary times, we can manage without many things, but we can’t manage without electricity.

Renewable technologies such as solar PV have experienced spectacular growth over the past two decades, creating whole new global industries and helping avoid significant amounts of greenhouse gas emissions. Even faster deployment of renewables will be vital if India is to meet its current pandemic crisis, climate change goals and other long-term sustainable energy objectives. But without government action, the crisis caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) could considerably disrupt their momentum.

The confederation has encouraged Indian manufacturers to consider the current situation as an opportunity to build a strong and competitive domestic solar manufacturing industry. Hence, initiatives are at full swing, trying to lessen the impact of the pandemic.”

We need to look for creative solutions to overcome obstacles, whether overcoming technology challenges or driving the industry forward under the present circumstances, During the course of this pandemic crisis the world will better understand the growing need to build a more resilient electric network based on renewable energy. The government needs to be forthcoming in its efforts to support the growth of renewable energy sectors and stay prepared for current and future challenges.

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