The Solar Goldmine – Entrepreneurship In India’s Solar sector

Highlights :

One of the most attractive aspects of the green transition in energy has been the creation of green jobs, and not the jobless expansion that many industries have seen in the recent decade. That has strengthened the case not just for change, but also support for the transition.

The Solar Goldmine – Entrepreneurship In India’s Solar sector

Ishan Chaturvedi, Co-Founder & Director at Vareyn Solar writes on what aspiring entrepreneurs should expect from India’s solar sector

The surge in preference for renewable energy worldwide has brought solar power to the centre stage. In cognizance of the Indian government’s initiatives, schemes, and increased demand for renewable energy many entrepreneurs are taking the plunge and testing the waters in the solar energy sector.

Solar energy now commands a strong presence in the energy business. With the growing climate concerns, solar energy is witnessing positive growth and finding wider acceptance and application in India for both commercial and personal uses. Thus, the solar power sector has a huge growth potential.

Still, in its nascent stage, the sector offers immense opportunities for entrepreneurs. From rooftop installations to ground-mounted projects, the industry offers many a way to reap rewards. A few of these business opportunities are –

  • Solar Manufacturers – Production and retail of solar power items required for solar projects is a potential business opportunity. Many companies in the solar business choose to go the OEM route.
  • Solar EPC – EPC stands for Engineering, Procurement and Construction. Solar EPC businesses procure solar materials from manufacturers and then take care of the engineering work including installation of the plant and after-installation services.
  • Consulting – As a new sector solar energy has a huge potential for consulting as well. Business owners often require advice from experts in the field and entrepreneurs in solar consulting can avail these opportunities to oversee a turnkey project. Solar consulting firms furnish the required information, knowledge and suggestions for a particular project at hand.

Entrepreneurs can delve into either of these sectors to make to mark in the solar power business. However, there needs to be substantial research in place to understand the market better and weigh the pros and cons to gain a better perspective on the solar power sector in India,

As a large-scale operations-based industry, the solar power business required substantial investment. The entrepreneur has to invest a substantial amount of capital in this sector. Necessitating the procurement of special machines, machinery parts, land required for the setup and a skilled workforce are some of the key investment areas.

For the services bit, the repair, maintenance and installation and after-installation sales require proper knowledge of the working of the star PV plant and the technical skills to undertake these tasks effectively.

Generating leads and effectively capturing the market for customer acquisition and retention also play a huge role in the success of any business in the solar power sector as well. Especially with the new thrust on growing the rooftop solar sector, that targets both residential and C&I segments.

The opportunities are endless as the sector is still growing but the growth is riddled with a few challenges as well. To help augment this sector and accelerate the growth of entrepreneurs and companies, the government needs to aid the growth. Currently, Indian companies are dependent on Imported Lifecycle items. This can put entrepreneurs at a disadvantage as they are required to purchase from their competitors. A lack of infrastructure adds to the problem. With no taxation reliefs and subsidies, entrepreneurs must be prepared to storm any financial challenges that riddle their path. Besides this, there is also a need for standardization and creating a framework for installation to be followed by EPC etc.

With positive north and a positive outlook by both citizens and the government, there are opportunities and plans in place to help entrepreneurs by lowering the capital cost of constructing a solar power plant. This will encourage young and inventive entrepreneurs to invest in the solar industry in India. The sector currently is at an all-time high in terms of profitability.

Finally, just as all this has been made possible by huge changes over the past decade, aspiring entrepreneurs need to keep in mind that changes, including disruptive changes be it on technology, policy or otherwise, will continue to follow this sector.

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