Indian economy has grown by 5% in the year 2012-13. The scenario is extremely bleak. There is pronounced slowdown in the industry across the country. The energy sector is one of the most sluggish one and there is very little ray of hope. Power projects have been greatly delayed or held up. Many of the existing ones are operating way below their potential. Financial condition of state distribution companies are in shambles.
Transmission and Distribution losses (both commercial and technical) are way higher in India as compared to many other countries. There are complications in transmission lines, rights and access etc. The most significant issues attributed to this phenomenon are vast gap in supply of coal and natural gas against demand and increase in import of coal for generation. The projections have gone seriously awry. It is estimated that by 2017 (5Y Plan 2012-17) the demand for coal will be in the range of 1000 Million Tonnes and supply will be far less.
Not only are the residential consumers suffering so are the industrial and commercial ones. Businesses have to resort to expensive diesel generators to keep their operations online. The shortage is also a contributing factor in our weak manufacturing sector; an area which is today dominated by the Chinese globally. Process industries and continuous manufacturing cannot flourish with frequent power cuts, multiple staggering days and poor quality of power whatever little is available. There have been cases of major grid collapse in peak summer due to excessive drawing of power. There is also the element of subsidy which is extended to agriculture and not industry that further contributes to dulling our competitive edge.
These issues are not going to get resolved overnight when nothing has happened in so many years of our independence.
In this bleak backdrop, the promise of Solar Energy is the most assuring one that requires concentrated multi-dimensional efforts. There is tremendous potential for solar power in India. It is clean, sustainable and eternal. And the fuel is free!
Only 0.8% of our Installed Capacity is Solar-based Power.