Mumbai has 1.7 GW solar energy potential: IIT study

Mumbai has the potential to generate 1.7 GW (giga watts) of solar energy for electricity, a report released by IIT Bombay on Monday estimates.

The report was released by Rajeev Kapoor, Secretary of the Union Ministry for New and Renewable Energy. The study was conducted by two centres of IIT, the National Centre for Photovoltaic Research and Education (NCPRE) and the Centre for Urban Science and Engineering (C-USE), along with the Observer Research Foundation, IEEE Bombay Section, and Bridge to India.

The research was undertaken at the invitation of the Central government, which is aiming for 40% of India’s energy to come from renewable sources by 2022.

“Earlier, solar energy was used for electricity by very few, because it was green, but very expensive. However, with the falling price of solar energy technology, it is a viable option for homes and businesses alike,” said Juzer Vasi, professor of electrical engineering at IIT-B and supervisor on the study.

Simpler process soon

Mr. Kapoor said the government is working on simplifying the process for commercial enterprises to set up solar energy panels with the local electricity distribution companies and the State electricity board.

The caveat to the study, Mr. Vasi said, is that it measures the potential quantity rather than current generated quantity of Mumbai’s rooftop solar energy. However, it is entirely possible for individuals to try fitting solar energy panels in their homes. Small businesses and entrepreneurs interested in the technology will particularly be interested, said Mr. Vasi. As will educational institutions, who have the interest and resources to, as IIT has done, fit solar panels which generate one mega watt worth of energy. It is also useful in application for smaller suburban and rural areas, he said.

Details of the methodology and the report will be made available online for people to replicate.

Cost not a worry

There are many companies in Mumbai which will provide solar panels and fix them for customers in turnkey jobs, Mr. Vasi said. He added that people needn’t be worried about the cost: taking into account that solar panels last for 25-30 years, the cost works out to ₹6 per unit, and the payback period for the cost is six to seven years.

To generate 100 GW of solar energy by 2022, only 60 GW can come from large-scale generation, he said, while 40 GW has to come from lakhs of small installations on building rooftops.

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Apr 17, 2021 9:29:18 PM |

Next Story