With the cost to produce solar power turning south due to the general dip in the price of panels, renewables are on course to give fossil fuels a run for their money in energy-starved nations. However, India's target 100 GW of solar capacity by 2022 is still far off by the current run-rate due to challenges related to land acquisition, panel import, state distribution companies (discoms), etc. The coronavirus lockdown has accentuated the challenges by stalling the supply of panels imported from China and reducing the discoms’ motivation towards the rooftop solar segment and its net metering arrangements owing to the drop in demand from their staple industrial clients.
Nevertheless, efforts to emerge from this pandemic-induced slowdown can be a positive for utility-scale solar, most of which are ground-mounted solar parks in India. Moreover, it can boost an upcoming solar segment that bypasses the issues of land ground-mounted solar faces, i.e. archaic acquisition rules, increasing prices, issues of displacement of erstwhile population and the competition from industry and housing for that land. This model is of large-scale solar installations on water surface, or floating solar.
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