Solar sector faces growing water risk

Solar sector faces growing water risk

India’s total installed capacity in the solar sector has risen from 1 GW in 2012 to over 25 GW at present, and is expected to go up by over 10 GW every year.

Fast growth and concentration in water-stressed areas exposes solar energy to growing water risks – scarcity, rising cost, environmental degradation, etc. According to our estimates, 94 per cent of India’s solar capacity is exposed to medium-high level of water risk.

Figure: Estimated water consumption in the solar sector by state  

Note: Water consumption has been estimated based on installed solar capacity as on June 30, 2018.

Solar panels need to be cleaned regularly, as soiling due to accumulation of dust, dirt, pollution, bird-droppings etc, can cause generation losses of 3 per cent to 6 per cent. These ‘soiling losses’ need to be reduced to about 1 per cent – requiring an average of two cleaning cycles per month – to produce power at a competitive price.  Read More

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