Efficiency, reliability of panels hurdles to solar energy mission’

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The efficiency of solar cells and reliability of solar panels have been identified as the biggest hurdles to India’s solar mission. According to a report by the Institute of Applied Systems and Rural Development and Assocham, the efficiency of solar cells ranges from 12 per cent to 20 per cent.

“The rest of the energy striking the panel is either reflected or is wasted as heat,” the report added.

The report also noted that a solar panel can be utilised for a maximum of 12 hours a day. This is because battery packs are yet to prove their longevity and cost for better reliability. These increase the unutilised solar infrastructure cost and reduces efficacy of the over all solar grid system, according to the report.

Assocham also notes that solar panels used in India are not designed to handle very high temperatures and dust prone conditions. This damages the module and results in loss of energy generation.

The risks perceived by lenders for solar projects also push up the cost of obtaining capital. This grows because of the counter party risk. Assocham said, “The counter party risk is because of the inability of the distribution companies to pay for the power they purchase.”


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