India is in the midst of constructing the world’s largest solar park, which will provide power to hundreds of thousands in the country’s scorching-hot heartland.
The Pavagada solar park, when completed, will output 2,000 megawatts of electricity. This is enough to power over 700,000 households, the LA Times reports. The park comes at a time when India is investing in more renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind.
The park, which already produces about 600 megawatts of power, is located in an area whose rocky fields cannot support agriculture. And so, the solar park is seen as a means to make use of the land.
The Pavagada solar park is the latest in a string of super-sized solar parks being built around the world. Meanwhile, as the park’s construction continues, India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, has become a champion of solar power on the international stage. He and French President Emmanuel Macron recently cohosted the first conference of the International Solar Alliance, an organization of nations committed to the use of solar power.
At the conference, Modi and Macron committed their countries to further investment in solar panel technology. In an India-France Joint Statement, the two leaders “stressed the importance of mobilizing public and private funds to support the development of solar energy.”
Despite harmony on the world stage, the Pavagada solar park isn’t without its problems. A new national sales tax has already increased the price of solar panels in India.
There are environmental concerns, too. Some locals believe the solar farm’s use of immense amounts of water, which is needed to clean the panels, will harm the environment.
But, generally, India’s move away from coal is widely praised. India’s renewable energy strategy is quickly becoming a model for other countries around the globe.