by Abhishek Gupta
When we got into the business of manufacturing equipment used in solar power generation systems and providing Captive Solar Energy solutions to commercial and industrial units, the industry in India was nascent. Consumer perspective about solar power bothered us a bit. We found out was that Managers who were supposed to think about costs (and consequently about solar energy) were taking power costs for granted. When stuck between high electricity board power tariffs and even higher cost of diesel power generation there seemed to be a fatalist’s acceptance of the situation which even threatened the existence of their enterprise.
Over the years of course, a lot has changed. But some institutions refuse to come out of the dark ages into the sun light, even risking oblivion.
About Solar Power: The sketch illustrates the problem about solar energy adoption
Sometimes we are so engrossed in finding the solution in all the wrong places that we completely miss the obvious answer staring at us in the face. But we’d like to think it’s not just ignorance. So we thought it would be appropriate to just jump over to the other side and see what all the nervousness about solar power is. We discovered a few myths about solar energy ourselves.
Myth 1 About Solar Energy: Solar Power is too much work.
Thinking about solar energy and moving to cheaper power from CaptiveSolar Solutions does seem like a good idea, but it is still not on most peoples “To-Do” list for the day. To a lot of Managers it’s a “To-Do” item for the month, quarter, or the year. There’s so much information to get and so many unreliable sales pitches to endure from grey market solution providers that the decision remains pending. It also seems like a lot of people to talk to within the institution itself; Engineering, Operations, Facilities, Financing and of course the Top Management has to be involved. If only there was a reliable source of relevant information about solar power that also streamlined the process getting an educated, informed, viable solar solution it would be a cakewalk.
Myth 2 About Solar Energy: Power Prices Won’t Rise.
Companies have serious and deep-rooted relationship with Electricity Boards. Some still believe that all that talk about rising energy costs, meaningless charges, harmful power production from coal etc is just propaganda that vendors do about solar power. Learning about solar energy from the solar companies selling benefits of the sun over exploitation of the planet is counter intuitive. It can’t be all true! The problem is that the Electricity boards have kept rising prices. And they will continue to have to do that. The earth is not producing more any coal, oil or gas, and we are only going to need more electricity. When increasing demand meets limited supply prices rise. This basic economics applies to everything about solar energy too.
Myth 3 About Solar Power: Prohibitive Capital Expense.
When potential customers are thinking about solar power solutions this is often a concern. An integrated CaptiveSolar solution provider knows this about solar energy investment. A reputed provider should offer options with minimal capital outlay and low cost financing if the customer does not want to incur huge upfront costs. To the customers, this means that in most cases they would pay just marginally more per month for power than what they are paying the electricity board at the current rates (Which by the way will keep rising every year by almost 10-15%). Then the power is FREE, remember solar panels provided by a reputed provider will be warranted for up to 25 years.
Myth 4 About Solar Power: All Solutions Are The Same.
There is nothing “cookie cutter” about solar power for commercial application. When talking about solar energy to a good candidate for solar, the solution provider must create customized and personalized solutions, according to specific application and profile. They must closely work with the customer to design an array and financial option that best fits them. They should aim for the highest savings, maximum power production, and decreased carbon footprint. The proposed solution must be created perfectly to answer issues regarding an ever increasing electric bill and rising cost of power from DG sets. Only then will every business create sustainable business communities and save a lot of money in the process.
Myth 5 About Solar Energy: Too Many Cooks to Go Solar.
Customers often complain about solar energy solutions that there are too many people involved and they don’t know who’s doing what. That could be true about solar power systems, where customers try to source individual components from the grey market and get untrained installers to put a sub-optimal system together. But the practices a complete solution provider will implement makes sure that that the process goes as smoothly, efficiently, and quickly as possible even post-sale. There must be a single point of contact to the customer all the way until the installation and commissioning is completed. Solution providers don’t charge customers for information about solar power. Instead they should offer free, no obligation online consultations to inform the managers about solar energy and recommend the right solution.
Think About Solar Energy Outside the Box.
The picture above aptly describes the situation. When faced with the rising power costs or frequent power cuts managers fallback on inefficient and unscalable inverter systems or scout for diesel generators, we have been always looking at the resolution not a solution.
It’s important fundamentally to educate our managers about solar power and why going solar simply makes sense. While we know that it will be one of the easiest decisions any business has to make, it takes some of us more time to come around than others. But thanks to these myth busters about solar power, any institution can become just a little more power independent. We need to take the proverbial box out of the equation and remember that most of the magic happens outside of our comfort zone, that’s where the sun shines.