Solar Innovations and Investments – The Future

Solar projects are gaining popularity among investors interested in financing renewable sources of energy. The Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM) plans to light tens of millions of rural homes with the help of solar energy. Their requirement is as much as $200 billion to build capacity measuring 100GW of solar power and 60000MW of wind power by 2022.

CLP India Pvt. Ltd. is planning to invest one billion dollars in the Indian endeavour to propagate renewable sources of energy like solar power. CLP formerly, China Light & Power, plans to construct a one gigawatt solar power station over a period of three years. CLP Holding of Hong Kong is a leading foreign investor wanting to enter India’s power sector in a bid to enhance its portfolio’s share in the renewable energy sector. The company will both invest in its own projects as well as those solar projects being undertaken by other companies. For example CLP will be investing in 49% stake in the Suzlon Energy undertaking of a $100 million solar energy project situated in Telengana.

As per Solar Quarter, in a bid to take a bite of this $200 billion pie many global investors, companies with expertise in renewable sources and pension funds have rushed in to make investments. It is interesting to note that the ROI of large investments in energy will require a minimum tariff of between Rs.5.5-6 per kilowatt to receive returns in 8-9 years. The government now provides a tariff within this range to attract investor interest in solar ventures. Suzlon for example won  its  bid at Rs5.59 per KW from the government.

Photovoltaic (PV) is a well-known method used by solar cells for converting the sun’s energy into electricity. There are numerous business models that gauge the ROI from PV installations. Some of these models are based on atomic rooftop solar installations where power sharing is possible between neighbours at a price. In India solar power runs irrigation pumps and lights millions of rural homes.

Solar power’s growing popularity is seeing more and more people leave the grid. There is no emission footprint as are created by fossil fuels. It is a clean source of energy but costly as the basic units can run into thousands. Solar panels can convert up to 23% of sunlight into renewable power. The electricity generated can run small computing devices and even colour printers.

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