India remains the world’s largest market for portable solar lantern. The Indian private player driven market for solar lanterns and solar home systems is expected to reach ₹26,178 million (~$327 million) by 2023, according to a new report ‘Peering into the future’ published by Global Off-Grid Lighting Association (GOGLA).
As mentioned in the report, India accounted for over 30 percent of the global volume and revenue share of the distributed standalone solar products sector in the first half of 2018.
The report highlights that the Indian market for distributed solar is driven by government as well as private players. The private players have developed consumer-led business models for their products and these are currently estimated to be worth ₹ 7,051 million (~$105 million).
The government-driven market mainly consists of subsidy programs and driving economies of scale. It has shifted its focus towards the solar pumping segment by launching Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan (KUSUM) program in March 2018.
In the KUSUM scheme, the government plans to grow by 10 times from the currently installed pumps and set up.75 million off- grid solar pumps by 2022.
Increasing incomes and greater energy demand is expected to drive the future sales of solar lanterns, which will come with additional services like mobile charging, radio, etc.
“Solar home systems, particularly with higher wattages (ranging from 100 Wp to 400 Wp) are expected to increase. The growth will come mainly in the states of Jammu and Kashmir, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Arunachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Mizoram where there is increased electrification, but outages are likely to remain for the next few years”, the report said.
However, to realize the full potential of the sector, specialized segment-specific financing is needed. Apart from this, strengthening distribution network with aftersales support for an expanded product range is required.
Private sector should also look to develop models in the solar pump segment, where a substantial investment will come in the next five years.
The report published by GOGLA in October 2018 found that India emerged as the world’s largest cash market for off-grid solar products, with 1.3 million products sold in H1 2018 alone.
According to another GOGLA report titled – ‘Powering Opportunity: The Economic Impact of Off-grid Solar’, over 90 percent of households that replaced toxic kerosene lamps with solar alternatives report that they had experienced improvements in both health and feelings of safety in urban, suburban, and rural regions of Kenya, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda.
Recently, Mercom reported that India was among the top recipients of electricity financing during the year 2015-16, with two-thirds of total financing concentrated in South Asia, according to a report titled “Energizing Finance: Understanding the Landscape 2018” released by Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL).