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COVID-19 may accelerate switch to solar energy

The COVID-19 pandemic is likely to fasten the pace of switch to solar energy, especially for rooftop systems, with prospective customers in both residential and commercial/industrial segments looking at ways to cut down expenditure, a top executive of a solar firm said. “People working from home are seeing their electricity bills shoot up substantially [with] air-conditioners running, electricity to run computers… that is driving lot of demand from that customer segment,” Saurabh Marda, MD of Freyr Energy, said.

On the commercial/industrial side, contrary to the expectations of a slowdown in demand, “what we are seeing is enquiries coming from customers saying for the next 1-2 years growth is not going to be our focus, so we want to find ways to reduce cost. Energy costs is one item where companies are willing to look at spending their money to start saving on energy expenses,” Mr. Marda said.Addressing a virtual press conference on the launch of a customer facing mobile app, Mr.Marda sounded upbeat on the prospects. Without divulging numbers, he said Freyr Energy was on track to do more business. “In the first quarter we met the [business] target,” he said, adding it was more or less same like the corresponding period last fiscal. The only difference, however, was “we did it in six weeks as we did not have three months [because of lockdown].”

To queries on funding requirement, he said beyond funding, “we would be interested in partnerships with relevant partners from solar industry to help accelerate growth, international expansion. The relevant partners would be companies already in solar business and looking to expand in other countries or in energy business that they can leverage to transition from traditional to solar energy for their clients.”

Co-founder and director Radhika Choudary said the company has customers in 22 States in India. Over the last six years, it has designed and installed over 1,500 systems in these States for customers, including government.

The SunPro+ app will help make it easier for homeowners and businesses to transition to solar by providing them information on various aspects as well as helping them track installation and monitor the system performance.


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Printable version | Jun 16, 2021 2:08:04 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/covid-19-may-accelerate-switch-to-solar-energy/article32094966.ece

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