The solar energy potential in India is immense due to its convenient location near the Equator. Isn't this amazing that India receives solar energy that is equivalent to over 5000 trillion kWh/year, and this is far more than the total energy consumption of the country! It is also possible to use this solar energy for different types of applications. It can be used for both grid-connected and off-grid generation of power. Imagine if even 50 percent of this energy is utilized, then how much we can save on the total energy expenditure!
The amount of solar energy produced in India in 2007, according to wikipedia, was less than 1% of the total energy demand. The grid-interactive solar power in 2010 was merely 10 MW. In 2005, Government funded solar energy in India only accounted for approximately 6.4 MW-yr. However, India is ranked number one in terms of solar energy production per watt installed, with an insolation of 1,700 to 1,900 kilowatt hours per kilowatt peak (kWh/KWp). By the end of March 2013 the installed grid connected photovoltaics had increased to 1686.44 MW and India expects to install an additional 10,000 MW by 2017, and a total of 20,000 MW by 2022.
Even the Indian Railways has plans to use solar power to supply electricity to air-conditioned coaches in some of the country's express trains.
The builders have also realized the the power of solar energy and have started installing photovoltaic systems in their buildings. Also known as solar electricity systems, these panels capture the sun's energy and convert the sunlight into electricity which can be used to run appliances and lighting in homes or office buildings.