Democratization of Solar Tech

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In December 2015, 63-year-old Syed Sajjan Ahmed drove to India International Science Fair (IISF) held in New Delhi from Bangalore in his self-developed solar electric-powered car covering 3,000 km, marking a water-shed moment in India’s solar tech history. Syed built his solar vehicle for about Rs One lakh.

Syed’s vehicle was just the beginning. An electric auto-rickshaw known as ElecRic has been designed RJMS-EV, a private company based in Bengaluru, is hoping to enter the market shortly.  It costs only Rs. 2 lakh. One can say, Indian automobile market has found a new muse. New electric two wheelers, three wheelers and not to speak of the four wheelers, are making their way to the market.

Mahindra Reva has been offering an electric car for close to a decade now. It is only now becoming more economically viable and attractive to own one.

Here is a list of the top 5 hybrid/electric cars available in India:

Brand Price (INR)
Mahindra e2o. 4.79-5.34 Lakh
Volvo Xc90 T8 Plug-in HybridToyota Camry Hybrid 31.19 lakh
BMW i8 2.29 crore
Mahindra eVerito Unknown

 

The Photovoltaic revolution

Recent technological breakthroughs are making the solar energy more accessible. India has been a big beneficiary of this. The photovoltaic (utility scale PV) market in India grew at the rate of 140 % in 2015-16, according to Bridge to India, a consultancy and knowledge services provider in renewable energy space in India. PV tech is witnessing applications in a variety of fields apart from lighting — including in rural healthcare and farming.

Solar tech is making inroads into more ways than we can think of. Solar energy farms generating power to an energy starved India has already become a success story. Today, we find solar powered Air Conditioning systems (used by Indian Railways), solar powered ventilation fan, solar powered motorized tiller and solar powered harvester, just to name a few utilities that are switching to solar tech.

Solar micro grids

Today, solar micro grids hold out big promise with the Government of India’s recent policy to for rural electrification bringing in over 14,000 villages under its electrification project. Over the next 5 years the rural solar micro grids are expected add 500 MW generation capacity to the pool.

The Bridge to India foundation estimates that over $ One Billion worth of investment is likely to pour into this sector alone over the next couple of years.

Micro grid revolution

Potential impact of Solar micro grids Over 14,000 villages
Potential total power generation capacity Over 500 MW in 5 years

 

Watch this space as we bring in new developments in this space.

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