We have indications that the day is not far away when India will succeed in breaking her energy impasse. Solar energy is becoming very popular with Indians and the Indian State. One important reason of very slow pace of India’s development in post-independence period has been the lack of dependable energy resource with her especially the hydrocarbon resource. We have been and continue to be dependent on energy resource of the Gulf countries, Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia in particular.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has in a recent meeting approved the enhancement of capacity from 20,000 MW to 40,000 MW of the Scheme for Development of Solar Parks and Ultra Mega Solar Power Projects (UMSPP). The enhanced capacity would ensure setting up of at least 50 solar parks each with a capacity of 500 MW and above in various parts of the country. Once operational, the total capacity will generate 64 billion units of electricity per year which will lead to abatement of around 55 million tons of CO2 per year over its life cycle. It would also contribute to long-term energy security of the country and promote ecologically sustainable growth by reduction in carbon emissions and carbon footprint, as well as generate large direct and indirect employment opportunities in solar and allied industries like glass, metals, heavy industrial equipment. The solar parks will also provide productive use of abundant uncultivable lands which in turn will facilitate development of the surrounding areas.