Indian corporates are supporting clean energy initiative by choosing to generate their own electric power with solar energy. India has about 300 clear and sunny days in a year and the calculated solar energy incidence on India’s land area is about 5000 trillion kWh/year. Why not harness this to fulfill our power requirements. The climate change in India has brought all of us to a conclusion that global warming is hitting us! In fact, it is not hitting just us, but most of the countries of the world. In such case, what is important is to change our way of doing things. And changing the way we generate electric power is one of those many ways.
Switching to renewable energy is the need of the hour! And there are many reasons to do that.
Few of them are:
1. The major reason to switch to renewable energy is that its sustainability is infinite and hence, we will never run out of it.
2. Generating energy in eco-friendly manner without emission of greenhouse gas as in case of fossil fuel thus reducing air pollution.
3. Diversifying energy supply and reducing dependence on imported fuels.
4. Creating economic development and jobs in manufacturing, installation, and operation & management etc.
A lot of people have moved from conventional resources to renewable resources in the recent years and solar energy is one of them. Today, people have realized the importance of using the abundant solar energy for their own benefit.
The government has set a target to achieve 100 GW of installed capacity of solar energy by the end of 2022 and India’s solar installed capacity reached 31.124 GW as of 30 September 2019. Out of this Rooftop solar power accounts for 2.1 GW, of which 70% is industrial or commercial. Heavy peak usage & large available area make solar a perfect energy solution for commercial & industrial purpose.
How going solar can help commercial customers:
1. Savings on operational costs - The major advantage of industrial/commercial rooftop solar power system is that the electricity produced by the Solar PV plant can be used by the company for running its own operations, thus reducing the withdrawal of electricity through utility grid and consequently the cost of the electricity bill.
2. Enhance brand image – Solar energy sector is in growth phase and investing money on solar power system is not only an attractive low risk investment with stable long term returns but also offers an opportunity to contribute towards sustainable development thus creating “Green” image of environmentally responsible business, thus enhancing the positive perception among customers.
3. Accelerated depreciation benefit - Accelerated depreciation of 80% is available under the Income Tax act for rooftop solar PV systems. This can provide significant savings to a solar plant developer who is a taxable assesse and has sufficient profits against which the depreciation can be charged.
4. Safe Investment – Solar power consumers in India today enjoy better energy security by locking in the cost of solar electricity for a period of 25 years, thereby can hedge against variations in grid electricity prices. Electricity prices keeps on fluctuating so it becomes difficult to calculate the expenditure on electricity for a certain time period. However in case of rooftop solar power solutions one can calculate the power generation cost and savings for next 25 years very easily. This makes it a secure investment option. The only cost in harnessing solar energy is the upfront cost of setting up the solar power system. Once it is done, your electricity is free. It is estimated that in just the first 5 years, you’ll be able to save money that’s equivalent to the cost of installing solar energy infrastructure. After that, all your energy is entirely free without needing to spend a single rupee.
5. Immense government support – One of the many major benefits is that government of India is actively promoting solar power. Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) and subsequently Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), the specialized bodies of GOI, are playing a significant role in encouraging people to choose solar energy, thus, helping India become one of the fastest adopter of solar energy. As a result, the Central as well as state government has declared several subsidies and schemes for those who adopt solar power. These schemes help reduce the financial burden of installing a solar power. The government offer 30% subsidy on installation cost to customer.
6. Almost zero maintenance cost - The solar power system will provide clean and efficient power for next 25 years and many solar panels have a warranty of 25 years. A solar power plant generally consists of solar panels, Inverter and batteries and they do not need frequent service or maintenance.
Commercial solar Power plant categories:
On the basis of Grid-connectivity:Commercial or industrial solar power plants can be categories into three types on the basis of the connectivity to the grid - On-grid, Off-grid and hybrid solar power plants.
On-Grid Solar power plant – the solar power plant supplies the power during day time and in case of insufficient supply the power is drawn from the grid. This system also enables you to earn revenue by supplying excess power generated to the grid through net metering mechanism.
Off-Grid Solar power plant- as the name suggests is a standalone system where storage batteries are needed to keep the power flow steady throughout the day. The off-grid solar power system is independent of the grid supply. This is useful when grid supply is erratic or when there is no grid supply at all.
Hybrid Solar Power System - The hybrid system is a combination of off-grid and on-grid system. This offers many advantages such as acting as standby power and generating revenues when excess power is supplied to the grid.
On the basis of Installation type:
Rooftop solar power system - Roof mounts utilize your existing roof structure as a foundation. They take up less space on your property and require fewer materials to install. They are also less expensive
Ground mounted solar power system - Ground mounts take up more space, but they’re easier to access for installation and repair. They also give you greater control over the orientation of your array to maximize production.