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Top 5 Threats Facing Solar Energy in India

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India pledged to net zero emissions by 2070 at the Conference of Parties-26 summit, which resulted in a significant shift in the country’s energy policy. Today, the government is promoting various forms of renewable energy, including Solar. In the last nine years, Indian solar energy capacity has increased 30 times, from 1 GW in 2010 to 75 GW in 2024, the highest among all other forms of renewable sources. But there is a very basic law in life: Nothing comes for free. The same is true for solar power. Even though it is claimed to be the cleanest form of energy, it has specific environmental threats. For instance, harmful metals like lead or copper can leach into soil and groundwater from discarded panels. Let’s explore some major challenges of solar energy in India.

Five Major Threats to Solar Energy in India

Impact of Heat Wave

Indian summers are hot, with the temperature often crossing 40 degrees celsius. Another peculiar thing about Indian summers is the heat waves. Now, you will think about how it is a threat to solar energy. Solar industry India panels are designed to operate optimistically at 25 degrees Celsius. They work with their peak efficiency when the temperature ranges between 15 to 35 degrees Celsius. But when the temperature goes beyond this threshold value, then there is a drop in the voltage generated by the panel. According to studies conducted by REI, every 1-degree rise in temperature results in a 0.5% drop in the voltage. This study further reveals that the efficiency of some panels may go down by 10 to 25 percent. So, high temperature and heat waves are one of the leading challenges of solar energy in India.

Longer ROI Period

A typical solar system includes various components such as solar panels, inverters, and batteries. All these components contribute to the overall price of the system. Additionally, various external factors also influence the price of solar installation. On average, installing a 1 kW solar panel in India costs around 65-75 thousand rupees. Now, let’s dive into the ROI calculations for solar energy India. Suppose your monthly energy consumption is around 360 units. To meet this demand, you will need to install a 3 kW panel. Depending on the above estimation, this panel will cost you around 1,80,000 INR. Let’s consider the energy tariff to be 7 rupees per unit. A three-kw solar panel can, on average, produce 360 units in a month. For ROI calculation, we have to convert this unit into rupees. For this, we will multiply monthly generation with energy tariff, i.e., 360×7, which is INR 2520 monthly. For one year, this will be INR 2520 x 12 = 30,240. The ROI will be 180000/ 30240 = 5.95, which is approximately six years. So, this extended payback period is one of the significant challenges of solar energy in India that discourages people from adopting solar energy.

Property Ownership and type

India’s population is around 144 crore, and out of this, around 41.37 percent of people do not have a home. They live in a rented house or apartment. Hence, around 60 crore people are dependent on their owners for the installation of solar panels. Secondly, in recent times, Indian cities have witnessed a rise in apartment or flat-style living. This trend is not just limited to large metros but has spread to medium and small towns. The flats have limited roof space, which makes it challenging for implementing solar energy solutions in India. Also, other technical and non-technical issues make panel installation more challenging.

Protection against Theft

Solar panels are expensive; it’s not just you who knows this fact; thieves also know it. Police across the country have reported various cases of solar panel theft. According to reports, thieves stole everything, starting from solar panels to copper wires. So, as an owner, you must take precautionary measures to overcome these solar industry challenges. You can do this either by using anti-theft nuts and bolts or by installing fencing around the system. Again, these measures will need significant investment, which will increase upfront costs as well as ROI.

Disrupt in the Supply Chain

China dominates the PV module supply chain with a more than 80 % share. This number signifies the importance of the supply chain in the solar power sector. Any disruption can cause delays in the materials, increasing the cost of solar EPC. The only way to overcome this dependency is by increasing the country’s production capacity.


According to Bloomberg, India will generate 75% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2050. And solar energy is going to play a significant role in achieving this target. However, this can only be achieved by overcoming the challenges in solar energy which we have discussed above. Today, India ranks 5th in the world in solar power generation. With high power consumption, the adoption of solar energy is poised to become a mandate for the country. The shift towards renewable energy will boost energy security and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.

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February 14, 2024


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