India Solar Opportunities

How to Make Money in India's Solar Boom

Written by Brian Hicks
Posted August 31, 2012

India is going to install millions of solar panels as solar energy will remain the fastest growing energy source for India for the next decade. There are multiple opportunities where investors can benefit from the solar panel industry in India like in providing mounting solutions, installation services, monitoring services etc. However one overlooked sector is providing security solutions and services for solar panel arrays. Note India does not have the greatest policing in the world and solar panels are installed outside homes and offices. Recently solar panels were stolen from a high security Government facility underlining the vulnerability of solar panel security. This left egg on the face of the Governor of the North Eastern state who had inaugurated the solar energy installation boasting of cutting down of fossil fuels by 50%. The embarrassment could have been prevented if the Government had invested in a decent security solution.

Source

A number of solar panels installed in the Meghalaya Raj Bhavan were stolen Saturday, police said.The 43 solar panels, installed in the kitchen garden, were meant to provide additional electricity to the sprawling Raj Bhavan here.”The solar plates must have been stolen in the early hours of Saturday,” East Khasi Hills police chief Mariahom Kharkrang told IANS.”The thieves surely came with a big vehicle to carry out the heavy solar panel worth Rs.6.19 lakh.”The solar plates had been installed by Hyderabad Batteries Limited to generate 30 kilowatt power.Meghalaya Governor R.S. Mooshahary had said the solar panels will cater to 50 percent of the Raj Bhavan requirements during peak season and about 80 pe cent during the lean season.

This makes it easy for thieves to steal solar panels which they can easily sell in the second hand market for a tidy sum. Stealing of solar panels has been known to occur in almost every country they are installed. There are already solution providers which sell products which help in securing solar panels from thieves.

NY Times

Police departments in California — the biggest market for solar power, with more than 33,000 installations — are seeing a rash of such burglaries, though nobody compiles overall statistics.

Investigators do not believe the thieves are acting out of concern for their carbon footprints. Rather, authorities assume that many panels make their way to unwitting homeowners, sometimes via the Internet.

 Here are some simple solutions to securing of solar panels:

  • Security Fasteners – There are companies which provide fasteners that are extremely hard to unfasten that secure solar panels to their mounts.

  • Video Cameras – For commercial installations, use of CCTVs is recommended. Already video cameras have become prolific all over the world.

  • Reduced Access – You can control the access by putting in security gates and alarms.

  • Human Guards

Here is an old guide to setting up solar business

 Main avenues of getting into the solar industry

1) Manufacturing of solar panels, cells, wafers in  a factory and selling them.

2) Manufacturing other system parts of a solar system such as solar cables, solar inverters, solar glass, encapsulants, racking systems etc.

3) Solar Development, that is setting up a solar power plant by financing it and selling the plant or the electricity.

4) Solar Installation – This involves installing a solar system on a house or a commercial establishment. This involves wiring, putting up the panels, procurement etc

5) Solar Distribution – The solar industry works in the traditional way where manufacturers sell to wholesalers who in turn sell to retailer.