The Coal Crisis in India has made us realise the need of having solar energy as an alternative source to meet our growing energy demands. This blog talks about various aspects of how solar energy can be considered as a boon to meet demand and supply for electricity without using coal for power generation.
India has seen the grave coal crisis a few weeks back which has made us all realise the value of using renewable energy to meet our growing electricity demand. Talking about the numbers, more than 72% of India’s electricity demands are currently met from coal-powered thermal stations which generate and serve electricity to the length and breadth of the country. The reason why we use coal as a resource to power our energy demand is that it is low in cost and it is one of the widely used fuels to generate electricity for several years. It's quite obvious that anyone was not expecting such a crisis that has almost turned into a power catastrophe for a huge country like India.
The Coal Crisis was the result of a sharp decline in coal imports due to various international events like covid-19, rise in coal prices, growth of power demands in China, rainfall, etc. which contributed towards taking India towards the verge of serious energy blackout. The Indian power plants were left with very less reserved coal stocks while many of them also got shut down completely which raised concerns about how India will meet its energy demands.
Coal is a major fossil fuel that is used as the main component for the generation of electricity. While it is one of the cheap sources of meeting energy needs, It is also detrimental to the environment in multiple ways resulting in deforestation from mining and contributing to impacting the air quality due to the release of harmful pollutants from thermal power plants. This can be seen as a great crisis if we see it from the perspective of the environment.
Solar Power is one of the most energy-friendly ways that can meet growing energy requirements. It is something that can empower both residential and industrial units to become self-reliant in meeting their own energy needs. Since India is a country that sees great efficiency in terms of receiving the peak sunlight majority of times in a year, it can really power the whole country. As per the stats, today also, combined solar energy generation is quite more than the energy generated by major thermal power plants of India. This can be counted towards a great effort to see solar power as an optimistic resource to power the country.
India is the fastest-growing consumer of electricity. As per the Ministry of Power, India’s estimated per capita consumption of electricity in 2019-20 remained around 1208 kWh which is quite more than that what it was during the covid period. In order to meet this increasing demand for power and sustain for the future, the Government of India, as well as various State Governments, have been promoting solar energy projects and it can be seen that states like Rajasthan and Gujarat are progressing faster to achieve goals related to solar energy.
While solar photovoltaic technology or solar panels provide an attractive option for meeting the projected increase in electricity demand without compromising on the environment and public health, it can be considered a great alternative to electricity generated from thermal power plants. This is also a good step towards making India a carbon-neutral country by contributing to green power initiatives.
The electricity generation at a large scale through solar power parks can be seen as an amazing idea to fill the gap between demand and supply of electricity. Solar Parks as a concept offers designated huge acres of land to set up mass solar power plants along with dedicated grid power stations and infrastructure to generate, store and transmit electricity from solar power plants. The governments and private players both are taking the necessary initiatives to set up such parks to offer electricity to residential and industrial units. Another interesting concept of the solar power park initiative is to offer lucrative return on investment to people investing in solar projects without worrying about overhead costs related to compliances and paperwork. This is one of the great efforts that can boost the mass production of electricity in the coming years.
The use of solar needs to be accelerated in terms of policies to enable vast adaptation, helping both government and citizens to move towards a cheaper, energy-efficient, and renewable source of energy. Since coal has its own disadvantages which we mentioned in the blog, it is high time we understand the need to encourage solar energy so that we can save ourselves from landing up in a huge crisis.