PM Modi’s New Solar Initiative
Following the consecration of the Ram idol in Ayodhya, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the launch of the ‘Pradhanmantri Suryodaya Yojana.’ The scheme aims to install rooftop solar panels on one crore households, promoting self-reliance in the energy sector.
GS-02 (Government policies and interventions)
- Objective and Benefits: PM Modi emphasized that this initiative would not only reduce electricity bills for the poor and the middle class but also contribute to making India more self-sufficient in energy production. The move is seen as a step towards harnessing solar energy at the individual household level.
- Current Rooftop Solar Landscape: Despite an increase in overall solar capacity, the growth of rooftop solar installations in Indian households has been limited. As of July 31, 2023, around 2.2 GW of rooftop installations were reported, and estimates suggest that there are fewer than 10 lakh households with such installations.
Pradhan Mantri Suryodaya Yojana
- The Pradhan Mantri Suryodaya Yojana is a fresh initiative aimed at achieving the target of 40 GW rooftop solar capacity.
- Focused on residential consumers, the scheme involves the installation of solar power systems on rooftops, offering benefits like reduced electricity bills for the poor and middle class while contributing to India’s energy self-reliance goals.
India’s Current Solar Landscape:
- Solar power holds a significant share in the country’s overall renewable energy capacity, totaling around 180 GW.
- High-performing states in solar capacity include Rajasthan (18.7 GW) and Gujarat (10.5 GW), with Gujarat leading in rooftop solar capacity (2.8 GW) followed by Maharashtra (1.7 GW).
Importance of Solar Energy Expansion:
- Meeting Energy Demand: With a projected surge in energy demand over the next three decades, India recognizes the need for a reliable energy source.
- Diversification Goals: To reduce dependence on coal, India aims to achieve 500 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2030, necessitating the expansion of solar power.
- Remarkable Solar Growth: India has made significant strides in solar capacity, escalating from less than 10 MW in 2010 to an impressive 70.10 GW in 2023.