Largely fueled by the expansion of domestic manufacturing, India’s solar market is growing at a high rate. The country, which has recently been on an ‘Make in India’ initiative, is encouraging the need for establishing new infrastructure and alternative energy sources. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), India is set to add nearly 600 million new electricity consumers by 2040, creating the need to expand and innovate the energy market. With a continuously increasing population, and a high policy priority to make power accessible to across India, renewable forms of energy seem to be offering the best solution to providing energy to the people in India.
American company DC solar has begun to see good traction in the selling of their products throughout rural India; this includes rooftop solar panels and the grid market. One of the main driving forces behind the increase in demand for DC solar products are the ability to store and use energy produced by solar panels. “There is a global trend of distributed energy generation through roof-top solar panels, keeping the generation closer to the consumption. Since solar doesn’t generate 24×7 power, theres a need to store the generated power. The energy from solar panels is stored in batteries and retrieved natively in DC power, this eliminating the need for any further AC-DC and DC-AC conversion,” CEO Venkat Rajaraman of Cygni Private Limited, a company focused on Solar DC microgrids, stated.
DC appliances also have the ability to offer consumers a much more efficient service compared to other competing alternative energy sources. “With the advent of power electronic integrated circuits, complete solar-DC solution for homes and offices are now possible. AC made us force-fit appliances into an existing ecosystem which resulted in poor system efficiency due to unnecessary conversions. With appliances that offer AC to DC conversion, power was lost in two stages, while converting from DC to AC for retrieving power from battery (the role of a traditional inverter), and then from AC to DC for the appliance use. We were losing about 45 per cent of power in these power-dissipating AC-DC, DC-AC conversions alone. Hence, for consuming ten units of power, we were generating about 15 units. A converter in the front of the appliance helps to run it on DC. With the advent of power electronic integrated circuits, complete solar-DC solution for homes and offices are now possible. Our inverter-less products come with a grid interface which requires only one conversion with minimum loss,” Rajaraman stated.
The market for solar power products in India is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 10% through 2022. The Indian government has started to provide incentives and subsidies for solar power products such as solar pumps and solar lanterns in hopes of boosting their adoption and popularity throughout the country. In India, approximately 360 million people lack adequate access to grid-electricity because the grid does not extend to their rural homes. On top of that, at least 20 million people receive less than four hours of electricity a day according to a report released by The Climate Group.
The current market in India is ripe for products like lighting solutions and solar pumps as rural India starts to look beyond kerosene, wood, and organic waster for their energy source. “Solar products ensure availability of power all throughout the day for rural households such as farmers, small businesses run out of homes, and students. This ensures a lifestyle enhancement in terms of better health and increased income due to more productive working hours,” Ben Matthew, sales director or Global Partnerships at Greenlight Planet Inc. said. Greenlight Planet aims to provide solar products to villages and remote areas across the world, guaranteeing that the life cycle of their batteries last about 2000 cycles with an average lifespan of 5 years.
The biggest challenge for companies looking to make their way into the Indian market is the initial customer outreach. Currently not all solar product manufactures and sellers have the capacity to make themselves reachable for many people in rural India. Partnerships with organization have established a larger network for potential customers.
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