India’s Solar Energy Sector And Opportunities for Startups and Entrepreneurs

Highlights :

By Vipin Tiwari, Corporate Strategy Manager, AXITEC Energy India Pvt. Ltd.

India’s Solar Energy Sector And Opportunities for Startups and Entrepreneurs Vipin Tiwari, Corporate Strategy Manager, AXITEC Energy India Pvt. Ltd

India’s solar energy sector is experiencing a remarkable transformation, creating abundant opportunities for startups and entrepreneurs. With the government’s ambitious targets and supportive policies, this sector is becoming a hotspot for innovation and investment.

Growing Solar Capacity

India aims to achieve 300 GW of solar capacity by 2030, a significant leap from its current capacity of over 82 GW. This ambitious goal is backed by various government initiatives like the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthan Mahabhiyan (PM-KUSUM) scheme for large scale deployment of solar pumps, PM SuryaGhar scheme for large scale rooftop solar, besides massive initiatives for utility scale solar and now, an expanding market for Corporate solar too, for captive use.

Opportunities in Solar Panel Manufacturing

The push for self-reliance through the “Make in India” initiative is driving the demand for locally manufactured solar panels. Startups can tap into this market by setting up manufacturing units for solar cells and modules. The government offers incentives such as subsidies and tax benefits to encourage domestic production, making it an attractive venture for entrepreneurs. Even as current approved capacity is already nudging 60 GW, a strong domestic market will create opportunities for innovative niches like thin film solar, flexible solar and more, besides growing export opportunities.

Solar Installation and Maintenance Services

With the rapid installation of solar projects, there is a growing demand for skilled professionals in installation and maintenance services. Startups can offer specialized services in installing rooftop solar panels, ground-mounted solar farms, and floating solar systems. Additionally, maintenance services for cleaning, repairs, and efficiency monitoring of solar panels present a steady revenue stream. Even training for solar is an opportunity that remain to be tapped properly.

Solar Energy Storage Solutions

Energy storage is crucial for the effective utilization of solar power. Startups can innovate in developing cost-effective and efficient storage solutions such as advanced batteries. The Indian government’s support for research and development in energy storage technologies presents a golden opportunity for new businesses to lead in this space. With energy storage a critical part of the mix to ensure renewable absorption into the grid, demand is not an issue at all, and will only keep expanding from here on.

Solar Financing and Leasing Models

Financing remains a significant challenge for the widespread adoption of solar energy. Startups can create innovative financing solutions like solar leasing, where customers can install solar panels with minimal upfront costs and pay for the energy generated over time. Such models make solar energy more accessible to households and small businesses. Trading in solar panels will also emerge slowly, where older panels can be traded for higher efficiency panels. the older ones can be used for basic purposes in many cases and help make affordable solar a possibility for many.

Off-Grid Solar Solutions

In rural areas with limited access to electricity, off-grid solar solutions are vital. Startups can develop solar lanterns, solar home systems, and mini grids to cater to these communities. The PM-KUSUM scheme also supports the installation of standalone solar pumps, providing entrepreneurs with opportunities to serve the agricultural sector.

Solar-Powered Appliances

The demand for solar-powered appliances like solar water heaters, solar cookers, and solar streetlights is increasing. Startups can innovate and manufacture these products to meet the growing market demand. Government incentives and subsidies for adopting solar appliances further boost this market segment.

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