A new study has revealed that between 2001 and 2018, India lost a third of its solar energy potential due to the high levels of air pollution.
The study was written by scientists from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) and claims that air pollution prevented all of its potential sunlight reaching the surface to be converted into solar power.
The researchers claim that India could have been less reliant on fossil fuels during the last 20 years, if air pollution levels were lower and allowed more capacity for renewables.
India has air pollution levels that are 20 times higher than the World Health Organisation deems healthy, with air quality being a leading cause of death in the Asian country.
The new report suggests that this issue is now not only a threat to human life in India but also its net zero aims, with a desire to generate 50% of its electricity needs using renewable energy by 2030.
An aim to reduce aerosol pollution by up to 30% by 2024 from 2017 levels has been set in India’s ‘National Clean Air Programme’, with the scientists claiming this would generate up to $845 million (£640m) in revenue from the solar energy unlocked.