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SGCE 2024 Vol.13(2): 34-44
doi: 10.12720/sgce.13.2.34-44

Solar Energy: A Key to the Decarbonization and Development Conundrum

Janani Venkatesh
Energy Studies Institute, National University of Singapore, 119620, Singapore
Email: vjanani@nus.edu.sg

Manuscript submitted December 14, 2023; revised January 5, 2024; accepted February 5, 2024; published April 29, 2024

Abstract—India has planned to achieve net-zero energy by 2070, and decarbonizing the power sector is a critical goal. Currently, India is dependent on power from coal and other fossil fuels. However, India also has ambitious development goals and is parallelly fighting other challenges like poverty, unemployment, and economic growth. Among others, solar energy is available in abundance in India and rapid solarization has been identified as the best way to achieve India’s renewable energy targets at a mass scale. However, this also goes hand in hand with India’s development goals. India is attempting to build local capacity to manufacture solar energy products and incentivizing local manufacturers to expand their production. At a tariff level, solar energy is cheaper than energy from fossil fuels, enabling access to renewable energy to the lower strata of society. Offgrid solar has been used as a solution to address local problems like power cuts at households with solar torchlights and safety at night with solar streetlights. Furthermore, India is an active player in the trade of solar Photovoltaics (PV) panels, with growing exports not only improving its trade bills but also creating economic opportunities for local manufacturers. Solar energy could be India’s holy grail to achieve decarbonization as well as economic growth. This paper is a review of how India’s decarbonization ef-forts through solar energy is also contributing to economic growth.

Keywords—Solar energy, decarbonization, energy security

Cite: Janani Venkatesh, "Solar Energy: A Key to the Decarbonization and Development Conundrum," International Journal of Smart Grid and Clean Energy, Vol. 13, No. 2, pp. 34–44, 2024.

Copyright © 2024 by the authors. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0), which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided that the article is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.

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