If you are a resident of India you probably know that it’s not going to be long before you experience the next power cut, whether you are living in a village, a town, or even a city. I have received many phone calls, mainly from city dwellers, asking whether solar power in India is a solution to this problem. The answer is, well, not that simple. Let me explain.
To generate electricity, solar panels require a reference voltage. This reference voltage can be obtained from 2 sources.
- Grid electricity
The most feasible option, from a monetary perspective, is the use of grid electricity as a reference. This means that when grid electricity is available the solar panels will generate solar power. However, during power cuts, due to the absence of a reference voltage, the generation of solar power will cease as well.
So if you are looking to use solar power during power cuts, you will require batteries, which might turn out to be an expensive affair. However, if your electricity requirements are not very high, then we can work out the feasibility of the use of batteries.
For those of you who are using diesel generators as a backup power source during power cuts, here’s some perspective on the cost-per-unit difference when compared to solar power in India.
One litre of diesel costs Rs. 67, which provides 3 units of electricity. Therefore, 1 unit of electricity through diesel costs Rs. 22.33. Rooftop solar power in India, on the other hand, is much cheaper at approximately Rs. 4-5/unit. Although the initial investment for solar power in India is considerably high, within two to three years it will actually pay for itself. Moreover, let’s not forget the continuous increase in fuel costs over the years. If the price were to increase by 10% a year (which has been the trend), diesel would cost about Rs. 83/litre in 2020 and the cost of power from diesel would be close to Rs. 25/unit!
Learn how to install solar power in India without spending a fortune – Solar PPA
So, everything considered, a generator can be seen as a temporary solution to overcome the inconveniences and effects of load shedding. Installing solar power in India will be a more permanent solution.