Scope of Solar Energy in Agriculture
The importance of solar energy is first that it is clean, it is renewable, and with the latest technologies available. It could have the capacity to supply a much more significant proportion of our energy requirements. At the moment, solar energy production accounts for about 1% of the global electricity generation.
Agriculture requires solar energy as an important input to production. Agriculture uses energy directly as fuel or electricity to operate machinery and equipment, to heat or cool buildings, and for lighting on the farm, and indirectly in the fertilizers and chemicals produced off the farm.
Solar energy is used all around the planet, but currently, China, The United States, Japan, and Germany lead the world in terms of total installed solar capacity. India ranks at 5th position by producing 38 GW of cumulative solar power in 2019 and at 3rd by added solar power capacity in 2019 just after China and The United States. Here, we can see the growth of India in the utilization of Solar Energy.
At present, almost 53% of India’s energy requirements are met with coal. Going by the predictions, the coal reserves of the country will not last beyond 2050. It is common knowledge that over 70% of the population of this country still resides in the villages with only half of its rural population getting access to electricity. It is high time for India to move to renewable energy to feed its population with a fair share of electricity. Solar energy has emerged as the most viable and environment-friendly option for India to cater to its energy requirements of one and all, including 50% of its inhabitants who still live without electricity. A typical solar system is very easy to set up and just entails installing solar panels for it to work.
Usually, a farmer holds some barren land that can be used to set up solar panels to generate electricity for their houses, farmland, and machinery. With little one-time investment, farmers can solve the problem of electricity, themselves. The official said, a farmer who owns a barren piece of land of one acre can help produce 0.2 Megawatts of solar power. The government has decided to make use of such barren land in order to generate solar energy. It is being called solar farming. According to the Ministry of Renewable Energy, 5 acres of land is required to produce 1 MW of solar power. One such solar plant can generate around 11 lakh units of electricity on an annual basis.
India has placed high hopes on solar power by delivering a large portion of its 450-gigawatt renewable energy target by 2030, as the nation aims to reduce its fossil-fuel reliance.