Today, we are in a world that is struggling with the fast depletion of most of its energy sources. Among a few others, solar energy is emerging as a vast source to sustain the world’s ever-increasing hunger for energy. Solar power is the electricity derived as a renewable energy source from sunlight available in abundance.
If you want to start a business, the solar panel business could be a lucrative business opportunity. Solar energy business can be considered a non-conventional business that allows you to make money and do your bit to save the world by moving towards alternate energy sources.
Did you know?
India has set a target to install residential solar panels to generate 40GW of energy. Till the year 2021, India had achieved only 5GW of this target.
To meet 280GW solar panels by 2030, the government offers subsidies as under
System Capacity (kW)
Solar Subsidy (in %)
1kW to 3kW
4kW to 10kW
More than 10kW
To get this subsidy, the cost of rooftop solar installation has to be around ₹60,000 to ₹70,000. To receive an energy generation based subsidy, one has to generate 1100 kWh to 1500 kWh. These subsidies are only available to homeowners for residential purposes and can be claimed through the state DISCOM.
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Solar Power - Global Market Size
Globally, the solar power business is fast-growing and expected to reach $293.18 billion by 2028, with a 6.9% CAGR forecast for 2021-28. Solar power is the cleanest & the most plentiful available energy source available to humanity. Countries like the US, China, Spain and Germany are investing in building the largest solar resources to capture this energy to be used in a meaningful way. Solar power has been a widely accepted alternate energy source and seeing massive investments from both the developed and developing countries worldwide. It opens up opportunities for solar-based products and services for entrepreneurs.
Potential of Solar Business in India
India has moved ahead and adopted renewable solar energy to meet its increasing demands of energy in urban and rural areas. In keeping with India's commitments towards the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), that needs to be achieved by 2030.
The biggest business opportunity lies in the utilities & industrial sectors, with solar paving the way forward. AI and other emerging technologies supporting solar energy generation have made solar entrepreneurship.
India being a tropical climate country, sunlight is available in abundance throughout the year. With more than 3000 hours of sunlight available, it translates to 5000 trillion kWH of solar energy per year over its landmass. Many states in India like Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Bihar etc., have excellent potential for mega solar energy generation due to their location.
There is a tremendous potential for solar energy to turn into the most important energy source for the world as early as 2030. The Indian Government is providing incentives and supporting technological innovations that will lead us into this transition. Besides these, to encourage solar energy's use, the government has also taken initiatives like providing subsidies for solar energy-based home and business solutions. The falling prices of solar panels, acceptability of solar energy, affordable costs to enable it in common daily use scenarios make the solar panel business a viable business proposition.
Solar Business Entrepreneurship in India
You can look at several areas for starting a business around solar energy and solar energy-related applications. Here are some of the businesses you can evaluate:
Solar Business Retailer
The simplest and easiest of the businesses that can be started is selling solar products. There are plenty of solar products/novelties that can be sold on retail or online platforms. Solar fans, lights, chargers. There are solar thermal systems, water heaters, batteries, etc. Particularly solar lights, torches and fans can be a target product segment for rural areas where there is a problem of electricity and frequent power outage.
Similarly, components like solar panels, storage batteries etc., are needed and are in demand for any solar power solution that service providers offer.
This part deals with the wholesale or distribution of solar-based equipment or components needed to build them. Again, the solar panel is one of the main components and is the key component that is required for implementing any solar-based solution.
Solar Aftermarket Products
Any solar installation is not a time - Install & Forget project. It needs add-ons, capacity enhancements, consumables like batteries, and regular maintenance. A business around these ensures that you continue your traction and enjoy a long-lasting business relationship with your customer.
Solar Panel Manufacturer
Manufacturing of solar panels is also a lucrative business opportunity if you have the capital to invest. Solar panels are a key component and need for any solar power installation. A plant to manufacture solar panels needs an investment of ₹4-5 crores, besides other expenses to go to market with your product.
Solar System Integrator
A solar system integrator will execute a deployment of any solar project at home or for commercial purposes. An energy assessment, feasibility, sizing, and actual solar panel and system deployment is the work of the system integrator.
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End-to-End Solar Project Developer
This is an end-to-end turnkey solar project execution that consists of the below steps. It involves a full suite of consultancy, pre-project evaluation, design and engineering planning, and building and deploying the solution at the site. The end-to-end project management, operations and sustainability may also be a part of these large projects. Such projects are expensive, capital intensive, may need a high level of engineering and execution capabilities, liaising with the Government and participating in large contracts such as airports, industrial complexes, etc.
Given India’s commitment towards stated alternative energy goals, it is an appropriate time and opportunity to look at the solar panel business in India. Indian economy's prevailing positive market sentiments also encourage small and big business investments in this sector and make starting a business in solar panels an attractive proposition. The ability and easy reach of retail selling using various online platforms clubbed with the availability of reasonable solar panels and other components make it a very attractive business. Solution-based solar panel business for those who can sell it as a concept to customers brings in recurring revenues combined with repeat sales opportunities and better traction with customers. Today, aspiring solar energy businesses have easy access to business loans from banks and get subsidies and support from the government, making this a viable business to start even if you have a low investment appetite.