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Rs 4 lakh crore business opportunity: Sell solar energy to grids and get richer

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Amidst the time when the experts have started to throw in their contemplations regarding whether the Paris summit in December 2015 will “save the earth”, or will just end up as another Copenhagen, India has come up with a unique business opportunity that sees a target of setting up 100,000 MW of solar energy by 2020.

A senior government official stated that the rooftop solar projects offer a big business opportunity upto the tune of Rs. 4 lakh crore.

“Grid connected rooftop solar power is the most important sector as far as renewables are concerned. This 40,000 MW project requires an investment of up to Rs. 4 lakh crore and is a big business opportunity for all,” said Tarun Kapoor, joint secretary, ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE), addressing a conference in the capital organized by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI).

In regard to the system by which people who set up solar power panels on their rooftops can sell electricity back to the grid, he said that there are 20 state regulators who have issued connections whereas 17 states have issued policies for net metering.

Also an objective of achieving 100,000 MW from solar energy by 2020, 40,000 MW of which will come from rooftop solar power, has also been set by the government.

“Taking a systemic approach towards implementing this large and ambitious programme, ensuring it is a win-win for all stakeholders is critically important,” added Leena Srivastava, acting director-general of TERI.

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Find Out How Solar Power Can Improve Healthcare System in Rural India

Solar power can improve healthcare in rural India, say leaders

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In a letter to the government of India, leaders called for action, making the case for solarising all unelectrified sub-centres in rural India. (Representational Image). Pixabay

Nearly 20 leaders from think tanks, research groups, renewable energy companies, sustainable development organisations and industry associations on Thursday said India’s weak healthcare infrastructure in rural areas are being exposed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

In a letter to the government of India, they called for action, making the case for solarising all unelectrified sub-centres in rural India. The ongoing COVID-19 crisis has highlighted several existing systemic gaps in services, especially to the rural poor.

Inadequate healthcare infrastructure is one of them. Over 39,000 sub-centres, the first point of contact between primary healthcare system and the community, serving 230 million people in rural India lack electricity. This severely impacts their capacity to offer optimal healthcare to patients.

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Decentralised renewable energy (DRE) can play a significant role in solving this problem quickly and affordably, for less than Rs 30 per person in initial capital expenditure. The letter outlines four key interventions that the government can undertake in order to help alleviate the situation.

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India’s weak healthcare infrastructure in rural areas are being exposed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Pixabay

They are:

First, expanding the programme to solarise clinics, drawing from the example of Chhattisgarh which has successfully done this. Second, allocating dedicated funding towards this initiative, which would amount to just 0.6 per cent of the current 2020-21 energy and healthcare budget.

Third, ensuring long-term operations and sustainability by working through existing structures. And fourth, promoting innovation in order to develop more financially viable and energy-efficient medical equipment.

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The letter is being sent to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the National Centre for Disease Control, the National Health Systems Resource Centre, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, the Ministry of Power, and Niti Aayog.

“Sustainable health infrastructure that leverages innovative, decentralised and energy efficient solutions will bring huge dividends for health in rural India,” Centre for Environmental Health Deputy Director Poornima Prabhakaran said. “Transitioning to renewable energies across healthcare operations will ensure efficient service delivery and improved health outcomes.” (IANS)

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Taking Advantage of the Booming Solar Industry

The growth of the solar industry as a business is not just linear but exponential

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The growth of the solar industry as a business is not just linear but exponential. Pixabay

As a more sustainable and environmentally mindful lifestyle is being adopted globally, people are turning to a greener way of doing things. Many are going all out in their effort to preserve what little is left of nature, doing everything from reducing carbon footprint to implementing sustainable business models. 

Renewable energy on the rise

Renewable energy, particularly the solar industry, has felt the positive effects of the increasing wave of environmental and social activism. Over the past ten years, investments made on solar energy have increased by an average of 68% annually.

Entrepreneurs who are looking to do good and do well are getting into the solar business. It is infinitely profitable, but before you take the plunge, you must have all your bases covered, from customer acquisition to a solar sales tracker.

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Let technology do the bulk of the work

If you are getting into the solar business now, your timing is perfect. Several developments, both technologically and socially, have made the solar industry a lucrative business opportunity. Solar software, in particular, has made managing the sale and installation of solar arrays much easier, and the profit margin bigger.  

  • In the old days, solar installers knock from door to door looking for customers, with little to no system to help them. Converting homeowners into clients took much time and effort, which meant opportunity lost in terms of earnings. 

With the development of solar software, you can systematically go through a residential area in less time. It has integrated canvassing apps to help you track your leads, convert them, and move them through your process.

  • Professional software has also made the measurement of the roof area safer and more accurate. With the help of powerful tools, aerial measurements can be made instead of technicians climbing on top of the roof to do them manually. The estimates given to potential customers are also more precise, which contributes to better consumer experience and satisfaction. This translates to more business opportunities in the long run.
  • Solar sales tracker has built-in and customizable templates for sales reports. With this software, more data is made available to you to help you make better business decisions and grow your trade. 
  • Coordinating the activities of installers in the field and the team in the office is also made easier by solar software. Each member can access their schedules and assigned tasks wherever and whenever through an integrated calendar app. It also provides an open communication line dedicated to business purposes. Precious time is saved from holding daily meetings just to set expectations and get everyone on the same page. With the help of solar software, people are better able to work seamlessly as one team, regardless of location and function.
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Renewable energy, particularly the solar industry, has felt the positive effects of the increasing wave of environmental and social activism. Pixabay
  • Aside from the solar sales tracker capability, solar software can also help you keep track of all your projects from start to finish. Managing several projects at the same time leaves some of them vulnerable to falling through the cracks. With solar software, you are promptly alerted when a build or a project is taking too long. This gives you more time to plan and react, so projects can progress at a smooth and steady pace. 

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Strike while the iron is hot

The growth of the solar industry as a business is not just linear but exponential. If the present is looking good, things are only going to get better and by a wider margin. Now is the time to jump in the solar bandwagon, make some profit, and do right by the planet, all at the same time.  

[ Disclaimer: The article published above promotes links of commercial interests. ]

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Solar Power Starts Growing in Vietnam

Vietnam Goes Big on Solar Power

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Solar power is making a strong showing in Vietnam after years of shuttling from one extreme to the other. Pixabay

Solar power is making a strong showing in Vietnam after years of shuttling from one extreme to the other, with the nation looking sometimes like it would revert to coal, and other times like it would invest in renewable energy.

By the end of last year Vietnam had surpassed Malaysia and Thailand to reach the largest installed capacity of solar power in Southeast Asia, with 44% of the total capacity, according to figures from Wood Mackenzie, a firm that sells consulting services in the energy industry.

The figures show that Vietnam is serious about solar power, an issue that had been up for debate for years. Solar supporters were encouraged to see the government offer a high feed in tariff (FIT), a fee pioneered in Germany to let solar panel owners sell power to the grid. This helped push Vietnam to reach 5.5 gigawatts of solar capacity last year.

Vietnam is also planning to construct more power plants fed with coal, casting doubt on the goal of more clean energy. Public resistance to coal appears to have shelved some of the construction, at least for now.

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Solar power installation near a wind turbine at the Phu Lac wind farm in southern Vietnam’s Binh Thuan province. Pixabay

“FITs have proven to be an effective policy tool to induce rapid growth in renewables, and Vietnam’s build is another example of that,” Rishab Shrestha, a solar analyst at Wood Mackenzie, said. He added that “project economics will continue to remain attractive in large parts of Vietnam.”

Like other nations, Vietnam has yet to deal with some of the potential drawbacks of solar power, such as how to dispose of photo voltaic panels responsibly. The panels contain toxic chemicals like lead and cannot be recycled easily.

However solar and other renewable power, such as from wind, remains one of the cleanest options for Vietnam at the moment. It joins a growing global trend, from California, which enacted a law this year to require all new homes come with solar panels, to India, where railways are switching to solar power.

Next, Vietnam will have to decide how much it will pay for solar power. The tariff used to be more than nine U.S. cents per kilowatt hour but that price expired in June. Investors are waiting on a decision, which is being jointly prepared by three ministries, the Office of the Government, and the state power utility, according to Duane Morris Vietnam LLC, a law firm that advises clients on solar power. As part of the process, Vietnam Electricity, the state utility, sent a letter to the trade ministry with recommendations on how to set the tariff and who would be eligible.

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“The submission letter is not very clear,” said Oliver Massmann, general director of Duane Morris Vietnam LLC, in a blog post.

However he predicts that the government will settle on a tariff of just over seven U.S. cents per kilowatt hour for ground-mounted solar power projects, and a slightly higher tariff for floating solar power projects. Vietnam is pushing investors to provide power more affordably as consumption needs rise in the fast-growing economy. (VOA)