By Gagan Vermani, Founder & CEO, MYSUN*
December 4 2021: ‘Renewables, ‘Solar powered’, ‘Carbon footprint’, ‘one sun one world’, these words made a way in everyone’s lingo recently. It seemed that the world woke up from a slumber one fine day and found itself in a climate crisis that somehow sneaked up on it despite its vigil eyes. As if we didn’t see it coming, as if we didn’t create it by our hunger for ‘More’, more power, more money, more resources, more development, and the list is endless. Now, when we are at the brink of climate catastrophe, literally living in the last decade of making any amends, we find our ‘mores’ have led us to a bleak, black abyss. My intentions are not to create panic but I believe it's high time we stop lying to ourselves and start taking action.
At the recently concluded 26th Conference of Parties (COP), all the world leaders pledged to achieve Net Zero Emissions by the year 2050. India, however, set this date in 2070 and I believe it is commendable to be realistic than frivolous. If we would take a very short walk in the past, we could easily witness the development of nations at the cost of emitting an aggravating amount of greenhouse gases, deforesting, and extracting minerals from the womb of mother earth to such an extent that has left it barren. India, on the other hand, is still on the road to development, almost 70 % dependent on coal for its energy requirements.
The answer to it lies in the ‘energy transitioning’ instead of an abrupt stop on the use of coal. It is the need of the hour and if anything, the recent coal crisis has given a clear indication for it. The effort needs to be made on every level and that’s where rooftop solar can play a vital role.
In recent years, the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) for rooftop solar has come down to around Rs 3-5/kWh while the average tariff from the central grid is around Rs 6-11/kWh.
Moreover, sustainability and ESG parameters have found relevance amongst organisations. A Report of IEEFA informed that C&I accounted for 75% of the rooftop solar market in 2020. Storage has been an issue when it came to solar power, though a decline in battery prices up to 25-30% would result in the cost of solar+ battery system to be a party with utility staff. The government has also taken several measures to ensure this transition, introducing a pan-India RPO with a stringent penalty mechanism under the Draft Electricity Amendment Act 2020 is one such move.
Sun is the bestower of light, energy, and life to the whole of the cosmos. Pagans worshipped the sun, so did the Egyptians as the God Re. We, Indians have an ancient tradition of worshipping the sun and he has a prominent position in the pantheon. Recently, the US became the 101st member to join the International Solar Alliance and PM Modi raised the slogan of “One Sun, One World, One Grid”. It seems that we are finally reading from the books of our ancestors.
*Noida (NCR)-based MySun is India’s largest online rooftop solar technology company