One of the oldest industries in India and one that significantly contributes to the expanding economy is textile manufacturing. Today, clothing has evolved from being a mere necessity to being an extravagant, luxurious style statement for some segments of society. A person’s clothing conveys style, extravagance, creativity, and art.
India is the second-largest exporter of textiles in the world. It is the largest cotton producer in the entire world. The country’s textile market is anticipated to be worth over $209 Billion by the end of the decade. By FY26, exports of clothing are anticipated to be worth $65 Bn.
Favorable government policies, such as those encouraging exports, production-linked incentives (PLI) for technical textiles and man-made fiber, and allowing 100% FDI through the automatic route in the sector, facilitate this. Along the entire value chain, the industry also employs close to 5 crore people.
When discussing the chemical industry, one must take into account petrochemicals, paints and varnishes, gases, fertilizers, alcohol, and basic chemicals and their derivatives. It is one of the most diverse industrial sectors, offering a huge selection of commercial goods.
Other industries like paper, paint, and textiles all receive chemical supplies. The extensive agriculture sector is also heavily dependent on the chemical industry for fertilizers. Through fertilizers, the enormous agricultural sector is also heavily dependent on the chemical sector.
The chemical industry has a severe power addiction. Since typical catalytic processes necessitate high heating and pressure to produce reactions, it is a carbon-powered industry. The company relies heavily on fossil fuels as an electric source to finish the chemical conversion.
The energy required to heat the raw materials to 200 or 300 degrees is roughly one-third of the total energy used. During this process, significant amounts of CO2 and other pollutants are released into the environment.
Transitioning to green energy is the need of the hour for textile and chemical industries.
Finding ways to move away from fossil fuels and lessen the carbon footprint of the chemical and textile industries are crucial. Given that sunlight reaches most of the nation and that India, with its tropical climate, has more than 333 bright days annually, solar energy seems to be the most practical of all the green energy options under consideration. The two main types of solar energy are concentrated solar thermal systems (CSP) and photovoltaic (PV) solar power systems. The goal of this technology is to make this significant industry renewable and sustainable by effectively harnessing sunlight and converting solar energy into chemicals.
Solar for textile industry of India
Creating fabric yarn, spinning, printing, singeing, chemical processing or weaving are all energy-intensive steps in the production of textiles. In most cases, the cost of electricity accounts for over 23% of operational costs.
Industrial electricity tariffs are steep. Utilizing renewable energy can reduce electricity costs for textile manufacturers by up to 40%. Solar power is one of India’s most affordable energy options, and manufacturers in Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, and even Maharashtra love it.
Solar PPAs are signed for more than two decades, and the contract is prepared in advance with details regarding tariff escalation. This provides the offtaker with transparency regarding electricity costs, regardless of changes in the price of fuel or coal.
Companies all over the world are giving the environment top priority and are finally aware of climate change. The quickest way for manufacturers to achieve their ESG and low-Carbon goals is to directly purchase clean energy, or through RECs (Renewable Energy Certificates) and VPPAs (Virtual Power Purchase Agreements).
Solar for chemical industry of India
Chemical processes frequently involve one or more energy-intensive procedures like centrifuging, drying, packaging, distillation, and evaporation. The chemical industry primarily uses all types of heat, including hot water, hot air, and steam under low and high pressures, to meet its production needs. In addition, there is a high demand for refrigeration and air conditioning due to some chemicals’ process and storage requirements. A significant portion of the energy loads required by the plant’s air conditioning can be supplied by solar systems.
The following chemical processes, which need thermal energy to produce steam and hot air, can be completed using technologies for concentrated solar power:
- Endothermic chemical reaction
- Distillation, evaporation, and drying
- Cooling and refrigeration
- Effluent treatment
Some of the various processes where we can use the solar thermal system are:
- Spray Drying.
- Cleaning In Place
- Preheating of boiler feed water
Globally speaking, sustainability and climate change have recently entered the mainstream from the realm of corporate decision-making. The RE100 pledge, which commits companies to source only renewable energy, has been signed by many of the largest corporations in the world. Ten years ago, any program promoting sustainability, no matter how small, was generally viewed as a positive move. However, there is a strong push today for companies to completely switch to renewable energy for all of their energy requirements. As a result, even those who have not signed the RE100 pledge are feeling pressure to think about how to make their company more sustainable.