We all have read or heard about solar potential of India being expressed in umpteen number of ways. Of course, the most commonly reported figures are from (no surprises here) Wikipedia, which says – India’s theoretical solar power reception, on only its land area, is about 5000 Petawatt-hours per year (PWh/yr) (i.e. 5,000 trillion kWh/yr or about 600,000 GW). Now this is not really useful, you can neither make head or tail of this number, I mean if the potential is being estimated for the entire landmass, where the heck are we going to live to benefit from it. Probably a “videshi taakat” was involved in this assessment 😀 So, when I started solarmarket.in the first thing I wanted to do was to actually sit down with Solar data handbook and land usage details available in public domain and estimate the true power generation potential to settle my own curiosity.
Info-graphic from Bridge to India
While I am at it, the good people at Bridge to India have come up with a info-graphic to show the solar potential in India. They suggest that 0.5% of the land (16000 km2 or half the area of the district of Barmer in Rajasthan) can generate 1000 GW of solar power. This would generate electricity units of around 1.5 times India’s current demand. Don’t expect a single massive plant at a single location however, also storage is currently prohibitively expensive to allow 100% solar. But still, that’s the dream!