During the last decade, energy demand has increased manifold in India. To cope up with the rising energy demand, the Indian government has announced the National Solar Mission to generate 100 GW solar power by 2022. Large-scale solar power developers have been allotted around 60% of the National Solar Mission target. Therefore, it becomes pivotal to find the ground reality of solar power developers. To fulfill this objective, we selected the solar sources of the country and adopted a hybrid research methodology. The solar irradiation data were collected for one year in the four big cities of India, Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai, and Bangalore during 2019 to evaluate the efficiency of photovoltaics (PVs). MATLAB and RETScreen were employed for data analysis and evaluating the efficiency of photovoltaics. We take this a step further by performing the Life Cycle Assessment analysis to scrutinize the different features of solar energy, including fuel consumption, price, average lifetime, maintenance and operation expenses, land requirements, and greenhouse gas emissions. The results reveal that all these cities have an enormous solar power potential, as they are located in an area where solar irradiations are consistently available all over the year (except for monsoon season). Moreover, solar energy is more durable, cost-saving, and easy to maintain. Furthermore, we identified the significant barriers over the whole solar energy spectrum by conducting semi-structured interviews with industry experts. These barriers are broadly classified into technological, policy, regulatory, financial, transparency, accountability, infrastructural, and trade policy categories. Finally, essential policy recommendations have been suggested for all stakeholders in order to fulfill the country's energy demand on its way to a future of sustainable development.

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