Hotspots of solar potential in India
Solar hotspots are the regions characterized by an exceptional solar power potential suitable for decentralized commercial exploitation of energy. Identification of solar hotspots in a vast geographical expanse with dense habitations helps to meet escalating power demand in a decentralized, efficient and sustainable manner. This communication focuses on the assessment of resource potential with variability in India derived from high resolution satellite derived insolation data. Data analysis reveals that nearly 58% of the geographical area potentially represent the solar hotspots in the country with more than 5 kWh/m2/day of annual average Global insolation. A techno-economic analysis of the solar power technologies and a prospective minimal utilization of the land available within these solar hotspots demonstrate their immense power generation as well as emission reduction potential. The study evaluates the progress made in solar power generation in the country especially with the inception of an ambitious National Solar Mission (NSM) also termed as ‘Solar India’. The organizational aspects of solar power generation with focus on existing policy elements are also addressed so as to probe the actual potential of the identified solar hotspots in meeting the NSM targets and beyond.