Solar Power Sector in 2018
Solar power sector in 2018 was full of uncertainties. Especially with respect to the safeguard duty that was imposed, falling tariffs & the stumbling Indian rupee against the US dollar. However, the overall outlook for demand for solar power in India remains favorable. Tariff competitiveness of solar energy along with strong policy thrust can be helpful in improving the situation.
Effects of Continuous Fall in Tariffs
Continuous tariff fall that was witnessed last year had viability of projects under question. Compromise on quality of solar products which were used for setting up plants happened due to low tariff. However, this could be an alarming trend if not corrected. Almost 90% of the modules & solar panels that were used in the Indian solar projects were imported from Malaysia & China. To rub salt, domestic price fluctuations were dependent upon these supply trends.
Optimist Expectations for 2019
However, it would be optimistic to assume that year 2019 shall be driven by stabilization & cost optimization of solar panel prices. Crashing solar prices due to overcapacity in China during 2017-18 is set to taper off. Demand for solar power in Africa is picking up which is a logical market for China. Therefore, pricing scenario is likely to come back to demand-driven price rather than oversupply.
Initiatives by the Government of India
The Government of India floated a 10 GW tender in May 2018 to address the issue of Chinese import so as to boost local manufacturing. However, this received a lukewarm response. The bid submission was postponed six times. Focusing on long-term growth of renewable energy like the solar sector will be very helpful. Domestic manufacturing can help build the supply chain, control prices & even help earn foreign exchange through exports. This will also increase gross domestic product & create jobs for the country besides stabilizing adverse balance of payments.
Adoption of Solar Energy by Multinational Corporations
Multinational corporations have given a great boost to India’s solar deployment plan. They are increasingly adopting solar energy & declaring themselves net carbon zero companies. More & more of these corporations are adopting solar energy under Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs & working towards lowering their carbon footprints. Adoption of solar energy by corporations is expected to grow at a fast pace since they recognize combating climate change is the need of the hour. They also recognize the cost advantages of switching to solar energy.
Outdoor Solar Street Light is Gaining Traction
Outdoor solar street light & solar products are fast gaining traction in the Indian scenario like they are doing in the West. In fact, solar products are nowadays widely accepted throughout the world. Solar street lights are now the preferred choice in countries of Africa, Europe & United States. There are numerous advantages of going solar. No electricity bills are just one of them.
Zonstreet – Intelizons’ Smart Solar Street Light
Both Zonstreet CCTV & Zonstreet IoT are smart outdoor solar street light products manufactured by Intelizon. Both effectively combine surveillance with outdoor solar street lighting. They offer excellent CSR options for multinational companies & others. Intelizons’ solar street lights are also ideal for campuses, factories, parks, petrol pumps, commercial campuses & villages apart from streets & avenues.
Nevertheless, promising outlook in 2019 for solar energy sector comes on the backdrop of some major execution challenges. Solar power market in India has spectacularly grown over the past four years. However, the overall solar power capacity addition has now slowed down & the sector is struggling to sustain due to policy & execution challenges. This slowdown could be a worrying factor for all stakeholders.
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