Ways to Identify Other Potential and Attractive Off-grid Segments

The off-grid solar has a wide potential and variety of applications. The various aspects and market attractiveness have already been discussed. Other ways to identify market attractiveness are:

1.Going Green

This is the theme adopted by almost all individuals and organizations today. Right from individual levels (afforestation) to international levels (Cop-15 Summit), the burning issue is reducing their carbon foot-print and reducing pollution. In such a scenario, renewable energy resources provide the best solutions and for small scale implementation: off-grid and decentralized installations are best, cheapest and most favourable.

2.Remote and Rural Markets

In India, around 450 million households are still un-electrified. Some are very remotely located, some in hilly terrains and some other on inaccessible islands/hilltops. Many companies have entered the market witnessing the growing demand of solar to replace conventional resources in these areas governed by Panchayats. Also most of mining and metallurgy industries are remote located in places where there is no grid connectivity available. Creating awareness among people and then demonstrating wide range of applications of off-grid products can open up a huge potential for this industry.

3.Government Policies

In some states like Maharashtra and Karnataka it has been mandated to put up Solar Water Installations on all newly constructed buildings. Also all companies in SEZs are obliged to utilize 20% of their energy needs from Renewable resources. Similar policy are sought to be framed to encourage off-grid industry on a large scale. Some other policies like refinance and capital subsidy schemes are favourable for some products. Entering into a market with these products is much easier than venturing out with new technology.

4.Understanding Local Mindset

It has been found that a certain product has huge demand in one region, while it suffers to increase its sales in other. This study undertaken by the companies can widen their canvas to produce products based on demands of the region. For example, a place where number of residents is dominated by salaried persons, the key observation is that they are more passionate in adopting new technologies and being envious about it. But a population dominated by entrepreneurs and business men may pour in lot of enquiries but lower chances of converting into a customer. However this observation may vary in places considering vast Landscape populated by Indians of different mindset. Also different segments can have different demands- like Solar UPS for domestic, water heating for industrial and PV for commercial.

5.Energy Self-Dependence and Freedom from Grid Connectivity

Many commercial and industrial organizations suffer high per unit cost of electricity. Most of the companies have started shifting from grid and diesel gensets to captive off-grid solutions. The sole aim of doing this is utilizing free renewable energy to provide electricity at lower costs, benefits of Net Metering, Energy Self dependence and freedom from unreliable grid connection. For instance, many low-heat industrial processes like phosphating and caustic wash are now being done through solar water heaters. Solar roof-tops of industrial units are being utilized to produce at least some percentage of energy demand and help in cost reductions.

6.Demographic and Geographic Profile

Climate varies from arid, semi-arid to humid in India- ranging deserts, cold deserts, Himalayas and coasts. Maritime regions of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and land locked regions of north have demands of solar water heating. Remote areas of Rann of Kutch and Rajasthan – deprived of grid connection – have to rely on exploring hidden potential of solar PV.

Related Article

1. Solar Off-Grid Applications and Products
2. Market Status of Offgrid Solar Products in India
3. Drivers of Off-grid Solar Market Growth in India
4. Government Initiatives/ Programs to Support Off-Grid Renewable Energy Deployment in India
5. Business Opportunities in Diverse Off-grid Applications
6. Solar Business Opportunities – An Overview
7. List of High Potential Sectors and Opportunities in the Solar Sector
8. Business Opportunities in Solar Thermal – Heating Applications
9. Emerging Opportunities in Solar Thermal – Refrigeration & Air-Conditioning
10. Business Opportunities in Solar Thermal – Power Applications
11. Business Opportunities in Solar PV Components
12. Manufacturing Opportunities in Solar Energy Sector
13. Attractive Segments and Innovations in Rooftop Solar Sector
14. Business Models for MW Scale Solar PV in India
15. Key Customer Segments for MW Scale Power Plants
16. Innovations and Niche Opportunities in Solar Power Sector

India Renewable Energy Expert