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Boosting India’s Solar Energy Potential for Achieving Green Energy Economy

Green Energy Economy Green Energy Economy

Before you peruse the complete article, watch the intriguing video on India’s solar-powered revolution:

The video below gives you a glimpse into India’s enormous solar energy potential and Hitachi’s contribution in realizing the nation’s solar energy objectives. Read the entire article to get a complete picture of the solar revolution underway across India and how it is empowering millions of lives with clean electricity.

During the past decade, millions of people across India have gained access to electricity. With children now able to study at night, power-enabled farm activities and a surge of small businesses, the electricity access has opened up new vistas for the social and economic development of those regions.

Significantly, escalating energy needs and looming threats of climate change have led the government to enhance its focus on increasing the use of renewables for power generation. The green energy sources like solar and wind energy are hence garnering prominence in India’s energy mix.

Fortunately, the hot tropical climate endows India with enormous solar energy potential – its land area receives nearly 5,000 trillion kWh energy per year with most parts getting 4-7 kWh per sq. m per day1.

Spurred by Government of India initiatives such as Make in India and Power for All, the solar power capacity has increased from 2.6 GW in March 2014 to 36.31 GW2 in October 2020 – posting 14x growth. The expanding nationwide network of solar farms and solar canals is now lighting up even the remotest areas and countryside, greatly enhancing people’s Quality of Life.

As dedicated partners in India’s sustainable growth, Hitachi is steadfast in utilizing its exemplary OT X IT expertise to develop innovative solar energy solutions to bolster the country’s transition to green energy economy, augmenting its Social, Environmental, and Economic values.

Harnessing the Power of the Sun

Harnessing the Power of the Sun

India’s Solar Potential
  • 748 GW Solar Potential(1)
  • 5000 Trillion kWh- Annual Solar Radiation(1)
  • 300 Sunny Days a Year
  • 36.31 GW - Installed Capacity (Oct 31, 2020)(2)
  • 3rd Largest Solar Market in the World(2)
Solar Government Schemes
  • Solar Park Scheme
  • Viability Gap Funding (VGF) Schemes
  • CPSU Scheme
  • Defence Scheme
  • Canal Bank & Canal Top Scheme
  • Grid Connected Solar Rooftop Scheme
How Solar Plant Works
  • 748 GW Solar Potential(1)
  • 5000 Trillion kWh- Annual Solar Radiation(1)
  • 300 Sunny Days a Year
  • 36.31 GW - Installed Capacity (Oct 31, 2020)(2)
  • 3rd largest solar market in the world(2)
  • Solar Park Scheme
  • Viability Gap Funding (VGF) Schemes
  • CPSU Scheme
  • Defence Scheme
  • Canal bank & Canal top Scheme
  • Grid Connected Solar Rooftop Scheme

Enhancing India’s Green Energy Capability

India is the world's third-largest power consumer, with 72% of its electricity produced in coal-based power plants3. The dependence on fossil fuels like coal is leading to a rise in CO2 emissions, environmental decay, and subsequent risk of climate change.

To enhance India’s green energy capability, the government is taking revolutionary steps to gradually replace fossil fuels with renewable sources. There is an increased understanding that developing solar farms would cost much less than operating the present coal-based power units. Several reforms have been initiated to boost investments for developing solar charging infrastructure and encourage innovation.

The efforts are already showing positive results, with India becoming the lowest-cost producer of solar power in the world. Reportedly, the setup costs for solar PV projects plunged by almost 80% between 2010-20184. In early 2020, the Energy Corporation of India (SECI) under the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy carried out the world’s biggest renewable-cum-energy storage firm supply bid.

Furthermore, the national initiative Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission has envisaged installing 20,000 MW of grid-connected solar power (this will be done in three phases) and 2,000 MW of off-grid solar applications comprising 20 million solar lights by 2022. It also plans to accomplish 20 million sq. m. solar thermal collector area.

Latest Innovations Accelerating Solar Energy

Technological advancements like photovoltaic cell technologies with enhanced performance, lithium-ion battery banks for solar storage, bifacial solar modules that efficiently produce solar power from both sides and intelligent inverters are also driving the growth of India’s solar sector.

The heart of a solar plant, solar inverters convert direct current (DC) energy that solar panels generate into usable alternating current (AC), thus powering residential, commercial as well as industrial applications. Further, with inverters, excess energy can be stored in batteries or fed back directly into the grid. Inverters also provide analytical information allowing solar plant owners to monitor the performance of their solar systems and fix any operations and maintenance issues, ensuring continuous, safe system operations.

Solar Inverter Market

Solar Inverter Market

Solar Inverter Market - Type-based Classification
  • String Inverters- Most commonly used in home and commercial solar power systems
  • Micro-Inverters- Converts the DC electricity produced by a single solar panel 
  • Central Inverters- For applications such as large arrays installed on buildings, industrial facilities, field installations
Solar Inverter Market - System Type-based Classification
  • On-Grid- Also known as Grid Tied Solution. Converts the DC power to AC power and directly feeds the power into grid for utilization
  • Off-Grid- Converts the DC source into AC source and excess energy stored into battery for future use
Solar Inverter Market - Application-based Classification
  • Utilities
  • Commercial
  • Residential

Contributing to the government’s Make in India initiative, Hitachi Hi-Rel Power Electronics Private Limited (HHPE), a Hitachi Group Company, is manufacturing state-of-the-art solar inverters at its production facilities in Sanand and Gandhinagar located near Ahmedabad in Gujarat.

Hitachi Hi-Rel’s 1000 V DC Solar Inverters are available in two variants: Grid Tied String Solar Inverter with Multi MPPT for a range of 1 kW to 136 kW and Grid Tied Central Solar Inverter with a containerized solution for a range of 250 kW to 2.83 MW. Compact design, IoT-enabled remote operation and maintenance, insulation/ground fault monitoring, superior MPPT and higher efficiency are some of their key features.

Instrumental in bringing clean and renewable solar power to millions of households, industries and factories via the National Grid, Hitachi Hi-Rel presently has more than 2.5 GW capacity of Grid Tied Solar inverters installation base in various states in India, which helps in reduction of about 3.795 Mn Metric Ton Carbon Dioxide emission every year.

In 2018, Hitachi Hi-Rel introduced its first-ever 2.5 MW 1500 V DC Grid Tied Solar Central Inverter System. Initially launched in Japan, its local version was later rolled out in India as well. Intended to decrease the levelized cost of energy (LCOE) and the cost of a solar power plant, this product is packed with features like compact design, greater efficiency with less auxiliary power consumption, IoT-driven remote operation, and maintenance, individual string cut off options and so more.

Hitachi’s Advanced Solar Inverters

Hitachi’s Advanced Solar Inverters

Hitachi 1500 V DC Solar Inverters
  • Individual input isolation features to reduce the O&M efforts
  • Euro efficiency 98.6%
  • Maximum efficiency 99%
  • Compact design with less footprint
  • Unique cooling system design to reduce overall auxiliary consumption
  • Remote operation & controlling system
  • Hot swapping option available to avoid power losses during maintenance /break down
  • Make in India product
  • Production capacity: 3-4 GW annually
Hitachi 1000 V DC Solar Inverters
  • Multi MPPT feature
  • MPPT efficiency 99.9%
  • Euro efficiency 98.4%
  • Maximum efficiency 98.7%
  • Compact design with less footprint
  • Easy retrofitting
  • Make in India product
  • Production capacity: 3-4 GW annually

Realizing India’s Solar Energy Objectives

Aspiring to make India a clean energy leader, the government has set an ambitious target of achieving 175 GW renewable energy by 2022, comprising 100 GW solar energy. At G20 virtual summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed confidence in India's capabilities to accomplish this target as well as achieve the goal of 450 GW renewable energy by 20305.

Pursuing India’s solar energy mission, Hitachi is powering good by co-partnering with its patrons and the government to help build nation's green energy capability to mitigate climate change impacts, create a more sustainable society and enhance people’s Quality of Life.

Source:

1. https://mnre.gov.in/solar/current-status/

2. https://www.ibef.org/industry/renewable-energy-presentation#:~:text=As%20of%20October%2031%2C%202020,GW%20and%2038.26%20GW%2C%20respectively.&text
=In%202019%2C%20India%20installed%207.3,solar%20market%20in%20the%20world.

3. https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/energy/power/india-will-not-be-able-to-achieve-its-renewable-energy-targets-anytime-soon/articleshow/69286279.cms?from=mdr#:~:text=Coal%20is%20the%20largest%20source,the%20next%20couple%20of%20decades.

4. https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/small-biz/productline/power-generation/how-india-in-a-short-period-of-time-has-become-the-cheapest-producer-of-solar-power/articleshow/70325301.cms?from=mdr

5. https://www.businesstoday.in/current/economy-politics/india-exceeding-paris-targets-to-achieve-450-gw-renewable-energy-by-2030-pm-modi-at-g20-summit/story/422691.html