Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Volume 70, 1 April 2017,
Equality between economic progress and environmental sustainability is essential for a developing country like India. In the present time, the economy of India is growing rapidly in a vibrant mode and an efficient way, which in turn demands huge uninterrupted energy supplies. The country's energy needs are met mostly by the usage of fossil fuels and nearly 70% of electricity is generated from coal based power plants. In India, nearly 840 million people depend on traditional biomass to satisfy their energy necessities. Approximately 74 million rural people do not have access to modern lighting systems and around 81 million households do not have access to electricity, which is a major challenge to India's energy security. In order to achieve stable sustainable energy in the long-run, significant progress in renewable energy sectors is needed. Favorably, due to India's geographic location, the country is blessed with abundant renewable energy resources, which has not yet been exploited completely. So the central and state governments of the country have framed various policies and are providing subsidies to encourage the utilization of solar photovoltaic systems. In this paper, a comprehensive review of the potential, current developmental status and prospects of solar energy of India is briefed. The various applications of solar energy such as water heaters, desalination units, pasteurizers, food drying units, water purifier, space heating systems, air-conditioning units, cookers, water pumps, aerators, solar-wind hybrid systems and grid connected photovoltaic systems are explained. The study also mentions the current renewable energy policies, the barriers blocking the progress of the solar manufacturing units and some possible future recommendations that might speed up renewable energy developments in India.