Tuesday, July 12, 2016

India needs a solar energy revolution

Jigar Shah has posted a note on solar energy in India. Visit

I responded to this post with the following comment. I repeat it here because solar energy is going to be very important for India. 

The problems with electrification of India have been mostly in distribution so far. Political interference has led to poor management of electricity distribution companies in the public sector. Giving free electricity to farmers has led to distorting the economics of these companies. Many farmers have been the losers because they do not get reliable power. 

In future, big thermal power plants will be seen as major polluters and will come under international pressure. The best way out would be to encourage builders to become energy entrepreneurs making new multi-story commercial buildings as well as new multi-story apartment complexes self-sufficient using off-the-grid solar systems. Many of these buildings use diesel generators for back up. Similarly, why can't they use solar power when it is available and switch over to the grid when it is not? Till technology gives us cost effective battery storage for back up, we might need to continue using diesel generators. However, it might be possible to use solar energy for meeting something like 30% of the total building load, most of it during peak-load periods.


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