Solar Potential in the Himalayan Landscape
Ramachandra T V 1,2,3,*                Gautham Krishnadas 1                Rishabh Jain 1
1 Energy & Wetlands Research Group, Center for Ecological Sciences [CES], 2 Centre for Sustainable Technologies (astra), 3 Centre for infrastructure, Sustainable Transportation and Urban Planning [CiSTUP], Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, Karnataka, 560 012, India
*Corresponding author:


Estimation of solar energy reaching the earth’s surface is essential for solar potential assessment. Solar radiation data based on satellites provide higher spatial and temporal coverage of regions compared to surface based measurements. Solar potential of the Indian hill state of Himachal Pradesh has been assessed using reliable satellite based Global Horizontal Insolation (GHI) datasets validated based on its complex terrain. Solar maps representing regional and temporal resource availability in the state have been generated using Geographical Information Systems (GIS). Spatial analyses show that the state receives annual average GHI above 4.5 kWh/m²/day and a total of 99530395 Million KWh (or Million Units, MU). The regional availability of GHI in Himachal Pradesh is influenced by its eclectic topography, seasons as well as microclimate. The lower and middle elevation zone (< 3500 m) with tropical to wet-temperate climate receives higher GHI (>5 kWh/m²/day) for a major part of the year compared to the higher elevation zone (> 3500 m) with dry-temperate to alpine climate (4-4.5 kWh/m²/day). Results show that Himachal Pradesh receives an average insolation of 5.86±1.02 – 5.99±0.91 kWh/m²/day in the warm summer months of March, April and May; 5.69±0.65 – 5.89±0.65  kWh/m²/day in the wet monsoon months of June, July, August and September; 3.73±0.91 – 3.94±0.78 kWh/m²/day in the colder winter months of end October, November, December, January and February.

Keywords: Solar potential assessment, Himachal Pradesh, India, Global insolation, Spatial data, Geographic Information System (GIS), Geoinformatics, Renewable Energy

Citation : Ramachandra. T.V., Gautham Krishnadas and Rishab Jain, 2012. Solar Potential in the Himalayan Landscape., International Scholarly Research Network, ISRN Renwable Energy, Volume 2012, 13 pages.
* Corresponding Author :
  Dr. T.V. Ramachandra
Energy & Wetlands Research Group, Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore – 560 012, India.
Tel : 91-80-23600985 / 22932506 / 22933099,      Fax : 91-80-23601428 / 23600085 / 23600683 [CES-TVR]
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