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We have already entered an era of clean energy revolution wherein national and state governments are taking proactive measures to embrace clean energy as a sustainable energy source and reduce their exposure to the traditional fossil fuel. As the recent COP26 shifted the goalpost from 450 GW to 500 GW capacity for Renewable energy comprising of solar, wind, hybrid energy sources, hydrogen, biofuels etc. the efforts have also intensified further.

With about 150.54 GW of established renewable energy in 2021 (as per Nov 2021 report of Ministry of Power), there is another 350 GW commitment to be honoured by 2030. Solar is expected to be contribute around 55% of the overall installed capacity of 500 GW taking the numbers to about 280 GW. However, despite being the third-largest market for solar in the world, India still has a long way to go when it comes to the global solar landscape.

Challenges faced by the Indian Solar Industry

As India is looking at achievingits target of emerging global leader in the solar front, it needs to address and resolve the imports of important components like solar cells, modules, and solar inverters, that Indian solar industry is considerably dependent upon. Due to this over-dependency on imports, the industry ends up paying huge amounts of capital every year. According to data, in the first 9 months of 2021, India imported solar wafers, cells, modules, and inverters worth $1.97 billion.

Indian Government on Tackling the Challenges

Import Duty:(1st, April 2022) The Indian government has been taking several measures to promote local manufacturing under its ‘Make in India’ mission and one of those moves is imposing a 40% duty on the import of solar modules. This will promote domestic manufacturing

PLI Scheme: With an aim to boost India’s manufacturing capabilities and exports, the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme has been introduced. Under the provisions of this scheme, manufacturers receive support for setting up of integrated manufacturing units of high-efficiency solar PV modules and their sales.

BIS Certification: With solar products mandated to have BIS certification, the benchmarking for domestic manufacturer will help establish higher quality parameters which will also benefit the customers

ALMM: The MNRE has also introduced the Approved List of Models and Manufacturers (ALMM) of solar PV cells and modules with the objective of ensuring the reliability of the Solar PV manufacturers and protecting the interest of the customers.

The above actions will help India emerge as a leading global supplier of solar products, along with meeting country’s domestic requirements.

Challenges faced by the customers

Despite a significant push from the government, rooftop solar installation in India has not attained desired momentum India, especially due to the absence of lucrative ROI as solar prices are seeing north. Two major impediments are:

The overall cost of ownership: With cost and GST getting increased by 25% and 7% respectively in last one year, there is dampness in residential rooftop segment, and the cumulative installations stand less than 5GW till now.

Underdeveloped DISCOM Ecosystem: Current DISCOM ecosystem in India is built around thermal and by shifting to the solar there is a fear of cost competitiveness dovetailed with T&D losses leading to impact on profit margins. Therefore, traditional net metering system in solar installations wasn’t seen as a welcome move, however, the concept of ‘gross metering’is being supported DISCOMs. In gross metering system, when a consumer purchases electricity from the national grid through DISCOM, then charge of per unit electricity is say Rs. 7.5 per unit and when a consumer sells the electricity of rooftop solar, then customer gets only 50% say in between Rs. 3-4 per unit.

This will have a direct impact on the ROI breakeven timelines for the customers which stretches from 7 to 8 years to another few years. While the homeowners are left to figure out alternatives to reduce their electricity bill.

Trends and How solar companies are contributing to boost theIndian solar industry?

With solar panels and solar systems getting more efficient vs their earlier generation, customers are wanting to invest in a technology that is getting them better output per square meter of the space they have. So there is a constant need to invest in research & development of more efficient solar ecosystem involving energy storage systems. Like shark bifacial panels that are generating electricity from both front and back of the solar panel.

Customers have much higher energy consumption near dawn & dusk hours, which demands high efficiency and durable energy systems in off-grid solar system. Despite all the challenges, Energy Storage trends will gain popularity in India alike countries such as USA, Australia etc. The trend of consuming stored solar energy in lithium battery during the day time and night time is gradually getting popular in India, therefore solutions like deeply integrated solar batteries like CAML battery will become the power holding ground for such customers.

In this scenario, Loom Solar, a Faridabad-based start-up, is working cohesively to boost the Indian solar industry with its new business model wherein it is encouraging new entrepreneurs to enter into the solar market. With their novel business model, “The Solar Entrepreneur", they envision tapping the untapped market through their solar franchise which is backed by multilayer support to partners with high returns at very low investment

As India is making strides to fulfil its solar dream, Loom Solar and its smart methodologies shall continue to provide the Indian solar industry with much-needed assistance for ‘Mission 2030’.

 

Disclaimer: This is a company release. No HT journalist is involved in creation of this content.

 

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