Delhi is a driver of urban solar energy development, with the capital territory accounting for 83 percent of the nationwide increase in the rooftop photovoltaic capacity (230 MW) since 2016, as one of its ministers, Satyendar Jain, pointed out at a government meeting (quoted by the India Today). As he said, the introduction of the new solar units will allow a better understanding of the mechanisms of peak load management, which is especially important in the context of the rapid growth of electric vehicles. The number of electric cars sold in Delhi in the first quarter of 2021 is 5,244, and already 11,285 units were sold in the first three months of 2022, as reports the Times of India.
Interest in the installation of solar panels on roofs is mainly linked with outpacing electricity demand growth. India grew its power generation at an average annual rate of 4.7 percent from 2011 to 2020, while the Asia-Pacific region, as a whole, grew 4.3 percent a year, according to the BP World Energy Outlook. At the same time, as follows from the baseline forecast of the International Energy Agency (IEA), the situation is not going to change in the next decade: an average annual generation increase will be 4.7 percent in the country during the period up to 2030. Urbanisation will still be a driver of the demand because India lags behind China by its level (35 percent vs. 61 percent, according to the 2020 World Bank estimates). As a consequence, the demand for fuel in the power industry will grow. According to IEA forecasts, the period up to 2030 will be distinguished by coal consumption growth by 2.7 percent annually, and gas consumption – by 7.8 percent, while these two sources account for 66% and 19% of India’s generation, respectively.
Solar generation development will give India an opportunity to partially offset the need to increase raw material imports. The installed capacity of photovoltaic panels from 2012 to 2021 grew fiftyfold in the country, from 982 to 49,684 MW, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency. Further growth will also save emissions, given that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the UN Climate Change Conference in November announced their intention to reduce specific CO2 emissions by 45 percent by 2030 (per dollar of Indian GDP).
Solar panels are also gaining popularity in the developed countries. For example, the Workforce Housing Group, a New York-based developer, raised $500,000 last summer for installation of photovoltaic panels on more than twenty high-rise buildings in three Brooklyn boroughs. Six months later, the Ubiquitous Energy, an American company, raised $30 million for production of glasses with the integrated photovoltaic cells. The glasses will let visible sunlight through, converting the invisible infrared rays into electricity. The development seems to be widely used in the construction of skyscrapers in the countries and the regions with high average annual number of clear days, including India, with its over three hundred clear days a year.