New Delhi: Solar energy can contribute about 7 percent of India`s total power needs by the year 2022, implying a saving of 61 MTPA of coal per annum, a survey by consultancy firm KPMG says.
Solar energy potential is virtually infinite and if cost economics work out favourably, it can be tapped to meet a significant part of our needs, KPMG said in a survey titled -- The Rising Sun.
"Solar energy can contribute to about 7 per cent of our total power needs and displace around 16,900 MW of marginal conventional power by 2022. Additionally, 72 million sq metre of solar collector area can save about 11 MTPA of coal /annum," the report said.
Since this reduction would spare the marginal requirement which is likely to be imported coal, this would mean a saving of 71 MTPA of imported coal which is a reduction of more than 30 percent of our coal imports.
Furthermore, solar power can save 95 Million Tonnes of carbon dioxide per annum by 2022. This is around 2.6 per cent of India`s total emissions in that year and will be a very useful contribution to our voluntary target of 25 per cent reduction in the carbon intensity of GDP, the report added.
Meanwhile, the sector is also expected to create employment opportunities for thousands of people in India.
"The manpower requirements will also be very large and more than one million direct jobs are likely to be created by 2022," the report said.
The report further said the cost of conventional electricity to consumers will increase over the next decade, while solar power prices to decline at the rate of 5 to 7 percent per annum over the next decade.
The cost of conventional electricity to consumers is expected to rise with increasing proportion of raw material imports, cost of greenfield generation and network assets and improvements in operational efficiencies of utilities.
Solar power prices are likely to decline after factoring in improving solar to electricity conversion efficiencies.
Besides, emergence of low cost manufacturing locations are expected to aid this trend.
High-end residential consumers are expected to be proactive in adopting solar rooftop and are likely to start adopting solar power from 2017-18, the report said, adding that government involvement would be required to encourage non-high-end residential and agricultural consumers to use solar power.