COP27: Harnessing Solar Energy for a Sustainable Future
Key Takeaways from COP27 held in November 2022
For two weeks in November, COP27 convened a variety of events to tackle climate change. Over 35,000 people from all over the world attended, including more than 100 Heads of State and Government. In addition to key negotiations and press conferences, there were also pavilions highlighting different aspects of climate action being taken across the globe.
- The 27th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change ended with a momentous decision to create and activate a loss and damage fund, which took place in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. After days of intense negotiations, countries reached an agreement to establish a fund that would compensate vulnerable nations for the ‘loss and damage’ they experience from climate-induced disasters.
- UN Secretary-General António Guterres welcomed the new fund, calling it essential but also saying that more needs to be done to drastically reduce emissions now. “The world still needs a giant leap on climate ambition.”
- It is crucial, he continues, that we don’t cross the “red line” of a 1.5-degree temperature increase on our planet. The fight for climate justice and ambition must continue until we see change.
Significance of harnessing solar energy for a sustainable future
Solar energy is one of the most viable and abundant sources of renewable energy available. It offers a,
- low-cost, and
- reliable form of energy
that can be used to power homes, businesses, and entire communities. By harnessing the power of the sun, we can reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and other harmful emissions while creating economic opportunities, reducing energy costs, and decreasing our environmental impact.
Challenges of Harnessing Solar Energy
Financial and technical barriers
explain financial and technical barriers in harnessing solar energy
Financial and technical barriers are a major challenge to the successful implementation of solar energy. The cost of installing and running a solar system, as well as the lack of access to technical expertise in many areas, can make it difficult for people in developing countries or disadvantaged communities to access solar energy.
Variability in sunlight availability
The variability of sunlight availability is another significant barrier to the use of solar energy. Sunlight intensity can vary due to changing weather patterns, which can affect the amount of electricity generated by a solar system. Additionally, seasons and cloud cover can further complicate matters as they both have an impact on the amount of light available for harvesting.
COP27 Initiatives for Promoting Solar Energy
COP27 initiatives are like a ray of sunshine on a cloudy day, helping to dispel any doubts and worries about the future of solar energy. By providing financial support, technical assistance, and increased access to expertise, COP27 can help accelerate the adoption of solar energy around the world.
Lowering costs through technological advancement & government subsidies
– COP27 initiatives aim to lower the cost of solar energy through research and development of new, more efficient technologies.
– Governments have also been encouraged to subsidize the installation of solar systems to make them more affordable for households and businesses.
– Tax incentives, grants, and other financial assistance are also available in many countries to help lower the cost of solar energy.
– Furthermore, COP27 works to increase access to available resources and information on efficient solar technologies by providing training and capacity-building opportunities.
Promotion of international collaboration
– COP27 promotes international collaboration by connecting experts, corporations, and other organizations to form partnerships that allow for the sharing of best practices and insights.
– These collaborations help disseminate information about the benefits of solar energy, as well as provide access to resources and training opportunities.
– In addition, international collaboration fosters a spirit of cooperation and helps to create a global platform for the exchange of ideas and advice.
– By working together on initiatives such as these, countries can take advantage of each other’s strengths in order to increase access to solar energy around the world.
Development of policies to facilitate the transition
– COP27 initiatives aim to provide support and guidance for countries transitioning to renewable energy sources, such as solar.
– This includes the development of policies that facilitate the adoption of new technologies, reduce regulatory burdens, and promote incentives for businesses and households alike.
– By creating an enabling environment for the deployment of solar energy solutions, these policies can help spur the deployment of solar energy around the world.
– In addition, COP27 also works to create standards and protocols that ensure safe and reliable access to renewable energy sources.
– These standards help facilitate international cooperation by ensuring a level playing field for all countries involved in the development of solar energy.
– Finally, COP27 works to promote public awareness and education about solar energy, which is key to making the transition to renewables successful.
In conclusion, COP27 initiatives have been instrumental in advancing the use of solar energy around the world. By providing financial support, technical assistance, and increased access to expertise, they have helped lower the cost of solar energy and facilitate its adoption. In addition, they have forged partnerships and collaborations to increase access to resources and training opportunities, while also establishing standards and protocols that ensure safe and reliable access to renewable energy sources. Finally, COP27 initiatives have worked to promote public awareness and education about solar energy to ensure a successful transition to renewables. Together, these efforts have helped make solar energy a viable and increasingly popular source of renewable energy around the world.
India’s Latest Solar Energy Policies
Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission
- The National Solar Mission was launched in 2010 with the goal of creating a system of incentives and subsidies to promote solar energy development in India.
- It sets targets for increasing solar power generation capacity in the country, as well as providing financial assistance for solar projects and research into new technologies.
- The mission also seeks to create an enabling environment for the private sector to invest in solar energy projects and reduce the risks associated with them.
Under this, there are several benefits offered for rooftop solar PV plants through,
Accelerated depreciation – If you’re a solar plant developer and want to take advantage of the benefits that come with accelerated depreciation, know that under the Income Tax act, an 80% rate is available for rooftop solar PV systems. This can create significant savings, especially if you have enough profits against which the depreciation can be charged.
MNRE Subsidy – The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) offers Central Financial Assistance through subsidies for capital costs and/or interest rates (depending on the applicant’s needs).
Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) – Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) are a way to make more money from your rooftop solar PV plant. RECs are available for rooftop plants that have a capacity of 250 kW or more. Every 1 MWh (1,000 units) of energy generated is eligible for 1 REC. These RECs are traded on power exchanges, where they are sold to organisations that need to satisfy a Renewable Purchase Obligation (usually utilities).
Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana (Saubhagya)
- Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana (Saubhagya) is an Indian government scheme that was launched in 2017 to provide electricity access to every household in India.
- The program aims to achieve universal electrification through the installation of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems in rural areas and providing subsidies to install grid-connected electricity for rural households.
- Under the scheme, the government provides financial assistance in the form of loans, grants and other incentives to help meet the upfront costs associated with solar PV installations.
- The scheme also supports research into new technologies, such as solar microgrids, to ensure that electricity is provided in a reliable and efficient manner.
Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan (PM-KUSUM)
- Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan (PM-KUSUM) is an Indian government scheme launched in 2019 to promote the use of solar energy among farmers.
- The scheme aims to enable the installation of solar pumps and provide financial assistance (subsidies and loan schemes at reduced interest rates) for rooftop solar plants to be set up on agricultural land.
- In addition, it encourages farmers to generate additional income by selling surplus electricity generated from their solar pumps to the grid.
Renewable Energy Distribution Companies (REDCs)
The Indian government has set up Renewable Energy Distribution Companies (REDCs) to facilitate the development of renewable energy projects in the country.
- REDCs are responsible for providing access to renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power, at competitive prices to consumers across India.
- REDCs are required to purchase any surplus energy generated from renewable sources and feed it into the grid.
- REDCs are also responsible for providing subsidies to those investing in renewable energy projects, as well as providing technical assistance and training to local communities.
- The Indian government has been encouraging REDCs to invest in new technologies such as smart grids in order to improve the efficiency and reliability of renewable energy sources.
- The Indian government has made it mandatory for all state governments to set up at least one REDC in order to promote the development of renewable energy projects.
Solar Parks and Ultra Mega Solar Projects
write points to explain the schemes under solar parks and ultra mega solar projects
- The Indian government has launched solar parks and ultra mega solar projects to promote investment in large-scale solar energy generation.
- Solar parks are dedicated areas set aside for the installation of large-scale solar projects, providing greater visibility and accessibility for investors.
- Ultra Mega Solar Projects are a form of public-private partnership, which involve the construction of large-scale solar projects with the help of public funding.
Apart from these, India’s individual states have also introduced policies that provide even more incentive to install solar panels on rooftops.
Overall, these initiatives are expected to lead to a significant increase in the share of renewable energy sources in India’s total electricity generation, helping the country move towards its goal of increasing renewables capacity to 500 GW by 2030.