Solar energy is a clean, pollution free, and renewable source of energy. Development of this source of energy requires an accurate detailed long-term knowledge of the potential taking in to account seasonal variations. The region of the earth between the latitude of 40°N and 40°S is generally known as the solar belt and this region is supposed to be with an abundant amount of solar radiation. Karnataka being located between 11°40' and 18°27' north latitude and the geographic position favors the harvesting and development of solar energy. Karnataka receives global solar radiation in the range of 3.8–6.4 kWh/sq.m. Global solar radiation during monsoon is less compared to summer and winter because of the dense cloud cover. The study identifies that coastal parts of Karnataka with the higher global solar radiation is ideally suited for harvesting solar energy.
This study has demonstrated that Geographic Information Systems (GIS) helps in mapping on spatial and temporal scales of the resources and demand. The spatial database of resource availability and the demand would help in the regional energy planning. GIS provided the means for identifying, and quantifying the factors affecting the available solar energy potential. In addition to this, it also provided the flexibility to enrich the database, on which decisions are based, with spatial data and additional restriction on resource availability.