Selling Solar To India: The 5 Challenges To Overcome

Highlights :

Mr. Abhijeet More, Sales Head, India – Home and Commercial Business, SMA India

Selling Solar To India: The 5 Challenges To Overcome Abhijeet More, Sales Head, India - Home and Commercial Business | SMA India

The solar industry in India is at the cusp of transformation and the statistics show this. The installed solar energy capacity in the country has increased by 30 times in the last 9 years. As of December 2023, it stands at 73.31 GW, making it one of the most viable renewable energy sources to tap. However, even though India receives sunshine almost throughout the year, adopting solar energy as a widespread energy source faces multiple challenges that need to be addressed.

Efficiency and Reliability Concerns 

The low efficiency of solar panels in converting sunlight to energy is the biggest challenge that the industry faces today. And this is made worse by the fact that the panels’ reliability goes down further in regions that get inconsistent sunlight. If solar energy has to become widespread, this means we need solar panels that are cost-efficient and environmentally friendly to produce, as well as take up less physical space to produce the energy required. There are innovations happening in this space that are aimed at increasing the efficiency of solar panels.

Political and Economic Factors

Another major determinant is the role of politics and government policies. Government subsidies, support for start-ups, and awareness campaigns significantly influence the adoption of solar energy, and since the Indian government has been creating policies that favor the adoption of solar energy alternatives, it has made things easier for companies involved in this space. Government initiatives aimed at reducing prices through subsidies have become pivotal in encouraging people to switch to this eco-friendly energy source.

Technological Advancements and Solutions

Now, although solar energy has seen significant technological advancements, there’s still a lot of room for improvement especially when it comes to panel efficiency, reliability, and environmental impact. Continuous efforts are being made in this space, but changes depend on a variety of factors, including sunlight availability, heat, dust, and the materials used in the panels. There are also some innovative solutions, such as battery storage options for off-grid systems, that address the reliability issues by ensuring power distribution even in the absence of sunlight.

Installation Challenges

Besides these issues, there is also the problem of the physical installation of solar panels. Because of their specific size and shape requirements, the areas where solar panels can be installed are quite limited. Rooftops are ideal, but because construction of houses in the country is so localized, you can only sometimes find rooftops that can accommodate the necessary number of panels. Ground installations are an alternative here, but they can impact the value of real estate and can get hidden by higher-rise buildings surrounding the area, making it difficult to tap into solar energy. Innovative technologies like smart solar blinds and solar thermal collectors can be an impressive alternative to these issues because they aim to utilize space more efficiently while maintaining the aesthetic appeal of buildings and residences.

Other challenges

Another major issue in space is India’s dependence on imported solar equipment. Right now, most of the material comes from abroad. This means any issues in importing or on the manufacturer’s end can put a dent in the project that is using these. Policies that promote domestic manufacturing and reduce import dependence are essential if we want to sustainably use solar energy.

Other issues faced by the industry include grid integration, the financial health of discoms, financing for implementing such projects, as well as finding energy storage solutions as dependency on solar energy increases.

The Road Ahead

However, despite these challenges, the demand for solar energy sources remains high due to its convenience, efficiency and environmental benefits . Going forward, the only way for the solar industry to become prevalent in India is to overcome these obstacles through innovation and policy support.

"Want to be featured here or have news to share? Write to info[at]