Solar Energy Startups in India: Looking at a Shining Future!

. 6 min read
Solar Energy Startups in India: Looking at a Shining Future!

Global warming is threatening our planet’s ecosystem, and rising pollution levels are playing havoc with our health. We want a future with less carbon and pollution, and one which is based on green energy. The Sun is an important source of clean and renewable energy, which is still a virgin resource.

Solar power is converted to electrical energy. It involves processing the heat of the Sun through photovoltaics (PV) or indirect means of processing the solar power. Anyone can use solar cells to generate electricity from sunlight. The energy that the Sun provides to the earth for one hour can meet the energy needs of the whole world for one year!

India’s increasing reliance on renewable energy has led to significant investments in solar energy over the years.

Solar Energy Business in India

Businesses in India are exploring solar energy because in the long term it can significantly reduce their electricity bills. Normally the cost of the solar panels can be recovered in three years. The Government has made it compulsory in many states to install solar plants in the industrial sector.

There are environmental benefits too. For every 1KW solar energy that your business produces, you save 1 ton of carbon. That is roughly equivalent to planting 20 trees every year.

Selling solar products is good business. Sales of hybrid solar inverters Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) and Hybrid Grid-Tie inverters are growing by 25% per year in India. Other solar products that are seeing good demand are a solar fan, solar PV, solar cooking system, solar thermal system, etc.

The Role of Solar in Agriculture

The Central and State Governments have been giving high importance to the solar business, and have initiated agricultural solar pump schemes across many states.

The Government has introduced feeder-level solarisation in agriculture pumps. Instead of putting solar panels at each agriculture pump, a single solar power plant of capacity adequate to supply power to an agriculture feeder or multiple feeders will be installed. This will ensure better efficiencies and economies of scale.

Solar Power: Promising Figures

The additional solar power generated may be used for supplying nearby rural or urban areas during the daytime, or alternately banked for supplying power during evening hours. People will use it for induction cooking or lighting, or any other household activities.

Few facts about the solar power companies in India:

  1. In 2017, the solar power companies in India produced 1000 MW of energy.
  2. They are expected to produce 80,000 MW of energy by 2020.
  3. And, by 2022, the figure is expected to reach 100,000 MW.

India is currently the 3rd largest solar power producer in the world.

Hybrid solar systems are emerging that can integrate DC solar with AC power grid supplies, while also powering AC and DC appliances. This will provide uninterrupted supply to consumers.

Solar energy is clean but it requires large amounts of land. A solution that is being tried is to erect lines of solar panels mounted on steel structures over the irrigation canals. This is helping in the electrification of thousands of remote villages.

Disadvantages of Solar Energy

Obstacles to conserving solar energy would have to be overcome, to provide it when there is no sun. Also, compared to other fossil fuels, the conversion of solar energy is still inefficient. The high entry cost is also a hindrance.

Solar startups in India - Future Scope

Hundreds of startups are active in the solar energy space, investing billions of dollars, and doing path breaking work in R&D. They are helping India to transition to sustainable energy sources. A solar panel business is one of the most profitable businesses in today’s time. Huge potential exists in terms of installing solar plants and providing solar power to those remote areas that are off the electricity grid.

The geographical location of India near the Tropics is one of the contributing factors for the growth of solar plants. India receives annual solar radiation of over 5000 trillion kWh, which is a free asset for solar energy companies. The number of sunny days in a year is also numerous, numbering almost 300. Also, the billion-plus population of the country has a huge energy demand. All of this has contributed to making India, one of the biggest markets for solar in the world.

The demand-supply gap of power in India is 12%, and there is a recurrent power shortage in many parts of the vast hinterland.

Most of the solar startups install rooftop solar plants, and also provide EPC services.

Opportunities exist in every area of solar power, from sales and service to installation and repair. To start a solar power business, find a niche area that is yet to be explored in your locality.

You have to brush up your knowledge on topics like solar energy rebates and home energy needs. Apart from this, you must have a good working relationship with power utility companies, and Government departments.

Also read: Pump Manufacturers in India

Solar Energy Business Ideas for Startups

Do you want to start a solar energy business? Here are some profitable and trendy solar business ideas for your reference:

1. Harvesting Energy with Glass

Solar startups can produce glass that harvests light during the day and emits it at night. It has developed a highly fluorescent ink, which is then printed onto the glass. When light falls on the printed surface, it is absorbed, and later emanated from the sides of the glass. Solar cells on the sides of the glass can convert this emitted light to electricity.

2. High-Efficiency Solar Panels

You can manufacture micro-electronics for the solar cells, and help to make more efficient solar panels. These can make photovoltaic installations fast, safe, and easier to build.

3. Become a solar consultant

If you have the technical knowledge, you can become a solar consultant. You can start this business with a capital of 1 to 2 lakh rupees, and can rake in a profit of around Rs 50,000.

4. Hybrid Solar Inverter

Hybrid Solar Inverter UPS allows the load to run directly on solar using a charge controller. This feature allows customers to save on the electricity bills of the grid. It uses a charge controller to charge the battery when it is not fully charged.

The hybrid grid-type solar inverter also supports the transmission of power to the main grid. Also, the consumer can request a metering facility from the Discom.

5. Solar Mobility

Sustainable mobility enabled by electric power generated by solar energy is a very eco-friendly and profitable business proposition.

6. Cleaning and Maintenance Centre

You can open a business of cleaning and maintenance workshop for solar panels. Here you can also repair solar products like heaters and inverters. You can start this enterprise by putting a small capital not exceeding one lakh rupees.

Startup India

The Centre launched the ‘Startup India’ scheme in 2016, in a bid to boost entrepreneurship in the country. As per the Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), the total number of startups has crossed over 39,000, as of November 3, 2020. TheGovernment is eyeing as many as 59,000 new startups along with 20 lakh direct and indirect jobs by 2024.

A few home-tech startups in India are solving electricity issues of urban India by monitoring electricity usage and installing solar PVs on rooftops. Others are manufacturing smart solar water heaters or complete end-to-end services on building solar plants. By maintaining solar panels for businesses and households, they are aiming to take solar energy to the maximum number of people.
The world must end the use of fossil fuels. India’s leadership on solar is the reason the world can achieve its climate goals. The goal of solar startups should be to ‘Serve like the Sun’ and lighten India’s way ahead!

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What Is the Startup India Campaign?
How does the future of Electric Vehicles look like?
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