Asking inputs on why residential solar adoption is lagging in India

The future of solar industry in India and world-over appears to be positive. While there has been advancements in the existing solar technologies, adoption has not been widespread across households with rooftop space for installation of solar panels.

Some challenges -

  • Lack of trust and transparency with local/smaller dealers/installers
  • High upfront costs
  • Lack of customer service that provides end-to-end convenience from sales to maintenance

What can be a few solutions to help spread solar adoption in India?

  • Would customer advocacy be sufficient?
  • Is demand aggregation through a platform/brand a solution?

What are some of the reasons why you think solar adoption is lagging? What are some of the problems that need solving in this space? What are some of the supply chain challenges that is facing this space?

Any insights would help. Happy to connect with folks you know and are working in the solar energy space to learn more about this. :slight_smile:

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It’s a lot more technical problem than anything else. Here is a part of the blog that I had written

. The best way to achieve this is to generate power locally and consume it locally and there is abundant supply of solar energy in tropical areas, India being a tropical country , there is abundant sunlight available.
Currently, solar power is available in 3 types of deployments.

  1. Solar off-grid system: In this system, battery banks are used to store power and supply to the load. The cost of battery and the cost of replacement makes them economically unsustainable.
    Battery chemistry makes is ecologically unsustainable.
  2. Grid tie system: Even though this is both economically and ecologically sustainable, the biggest drawback is the dependency on reliable Grid power. In the event of grid failure which is very common in India, the solar system also stops generating power rendering the whole system redundant. Another major drawback of the system is the Liasoning work involved in getting permission from ESCOMs and the changing Govt. policies.
  3. Large solar power plants: In this case, even though generation is cheaper, the benefits are not passed on to end consumers who consume power only during daytime.
    In all the above cases, small commercial establishments are paying Rs.8 per kW of power. With our technology, we can easily bring it down to Rs. 4 per kW.
    They can save Rs.9600 considering 300 days per year.
    They have to invest Rs. 36000 per kW for our system. Within 3 years they would get ROI.
    Power from the solar panels varies widely during daytime. The fluctuation is also huge based on weather conditions. During rainy season, power is very less. the power drops because of passing clouds. So we have developed a regulation technology to ensure supply of constant voltage in spite of varying power from the solar panels.
    The key challenge is to handle increased capacity of panels to compensate for the variation in solar power during daytime or varying clouds. The other key aspect is smooth , safe and reliable change-over to grid power or any other alternate source that will be available when there is not enough sunlight available.
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My view on this is slightly cheeky.

  • It is because the grid is so good at being available that it can be taken for granted
  • lacks quality infrastructure for grid tied systems
  • Solar at rooftop scale is not exciting as an investment.
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Just clarifying - not exciting to the end-user?

Can this problem can be done away with if the solar panels are installed on rooftops instead of commercial scale installations remotely?

And thoughts about net metering the residential rooftop solar systems? Given that policy now allows for net metering up to 10Kw, isnt it easier to install and operate?

Solar Rooftops for residential netmetering is already there, It is definitely better than FD interest but but not enticing enmass. People are not able to imagine the total energy cost for 15 years.
What we need is a combination of Grid tie Rooftops and Differential pricing. We are thinking only from the perspective of Consumers. But Escoms and the managements will loose a lot of money as Solar power is produced during day time only and varies a lot based on weather conditions.
The key is to have a differential pricing where consumption during day is encouraged. if we get that in place then Solar Rooftops will become viable to Escoms.
We can have a detailed discussion, I cannot write much

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I believe access to right information and the state of willingness can also be some factors.* I happened to come in a conversation with a local in Panchkula who was in the final phase of getting his house completed. In the same sector, some households have installed solar panels and I curiously asked him if he is considering it too. He seemed to have a very negative answer towards not having the right information, on his state of willingness and again as you said, lack of trust with the dealers.

*This is just a piece of information from a real-life conversation.

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Sure, my number is 7769964642

What is the growth rate of residential solar in India? What are the bottlenecks - a lack of a reliable brand, service, or capex and financing, ever changing policy landscape or other? Which of these needs solving to increase adoption rapidly?

Is residential consumption the right target for changing the energy landscape?

Would love to understand this better.

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In terms of pure monetory returns