“In the midst of every crisis, lies a great opportunity”
Similar to other countries, India is going through an energy transition. However, the main question arises, will COVID-19 cause a pause or a shift in the trajectories? When one talks about the impact of the pandemic on the overall economy of India, the Government released the data for GDP that during the financial year 2020-21, GDP contracted by 7.3 percent. It is the most severe contraction from the time India got its independence. The reasons behind this trajectory are obvious – lockdown leading to the closing of business units, increasing unemployment rate, and a significant decline in domestic consumption.
Solar energy in India is not insulated from the pandemic’s impact and its uncertain future is causing concern for many businesses. As of January 2020, India installed approximately 35GW of solar energy projects and plans to increase this number to a 100GW solar energy target by 2022. It is interesting to see how India’s solar sector is tackling the issues due to the coronavirus outbreak and planning a strategy to achieve its targets. Talking about the impact of the pandemic on solar energy in India, let’s do a quick fact check –
- Due to the rise in COVID-19 cases, solar power projects continue to face implementation issues as the government machinery is preoccupied with the pandemic control measures and lockdowns
- The solar industry is coping with delayed shipments and approvals by the Bureau of Indian Standards, leading to financial hardships for developers
- Rooftop projects are more seriously affected due to COVID-19 protocols in the population centers
- Last year’s 2-month lockdown and the ensuing 5-month extension resulted in almost a 60% drop in solar installations
Taking into account all these impacts, what does the future hold for solar energy in India, is a looming question. After the ease of lockdown restrictions, the residential, commercial, and industrial sectors have seen a rapid increase in adopting solar. Solar could become the next big thing as a solution not just for the environmental problems but also towards cost savings, sustainable development, and creating employment. There remains huge optimism about long-term prospects for solar energy in India. The pandemic has refocused the attention of the Government and policyholders to fight climate change and localize energy supply.
Moving forward, Mahindra TEQO, being an asset management company plays a major role in reducing the impact of the pandemic on the solar industry. Our O&M practices in the renewable energy sector can lead to the development of specialized asset management platforms that are capable of harnessing large volumes of complex performance monitoring data. Having a national footprint, with a large number of services for the ease of asset owners, we aim to reduce the exposure of COVID-19 for vendors, technicians, and multiple people working at a site. We try to achieve this by providing products like – Teqolytics, SolarPulse, TeqoNoc, etc. through which the asset owners can reduce their site visits and get real-time monitoring updates on their phones.