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Solar power usage in India in 2014
The year 2014 has been characterized by power shortages, as coal supplies have dried up. Many parts of the country have experienced load shedding due to the reduction in generation of power from thermal power plants which are the main source of power in India. Hence the focus on renewable energy, especially solar energy has increased significantly. Also the cost of producing power from solar sources has reduced to a very great extent in the last few years. Typically for solar PV module, the cost per Wp of power has reduced from $3.75 in 2007, to as little as $0.65 in 2014.

However, there are allegations that the growth of the solar sector in India remains largely incentive driven.An article by P.S.Deodhar, former chairman of the Electronics Commission, and founder of Aplab group of companies alleges that the bureautic hurdles for availing of these incentives, are similar to those of the License Permit Raj. He claims that many government officials are using their position in the Ministry of New and Renewable energy (MNRE) to become very rich and that there are many touts working at the center and state level offices on behalf of the government officials. He also alleges that crony capitalism is rampant.

In some parts of India, like gujarat, rooftop solar has become popular, with home owners getting paid for the solar energy they produce which gets fed to the grid. This application has been implemented in the capital of gujarat, gandhinagar, which is a planned city. There are proposals for installing these systems in other parts of the country, especially in new delhi. However, it is believed that the building should be built in a particular manner, to maximize the solar energy output.

Though the media coverage of solar products and solar energy has increased significantly,it remains difficult for the common man to purchase these solar products as most retailers do not stock these products. A few online websites like Ebay stock these solar products, but the quality can vary significantly. We have purchased some very high quality solar lamps/fan on Ebay, but also an expensive non functioning solar inverter which got damaged in transit. Though many consumers would like to purchase solar inverters and other products for personal use, their availability remains a problem.


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