• Ahsim Ali

Scope Of Solar Power Systems In Sundarbans

The study on the scope of solar power systems in Sundarbans was carried out with certain objectives which include finding out the current status of electricity supply in the region along with analyzing the actual requirement, usage patterns of the inhabitants and deficiency of the supply. The effectiveness of solar systems for the natives in the region along with the purchase triggers and barriers were also analyzed. To have a better understanding it was needed to identify the percentage of the segment using/not using Solar Systems, the hygiene factors, excitement factors involved, pain points, disappointments and how it could be improved. Initiatives from Government for electrification of the region was also considered.

A qualitative/exploratory inconclusive research was conducted involving in-depth interviews with the respondents. All the interactions were recorded and the transcripts were analyzed to arrive at the results. The respondents targeted for the study were sellers of solar components, users & non-users of solar systems, opinion leaders viz. Govt. Officers, Political party members and members of the School's Governing Council. Localities covered were Jhorkhali, Gosaba, Radhanagar, Aamtali, Beltali & Daudpur.

It was found that the grid-connected supply was still absent in 60-70% of the region and some areas of importance have been provided with the supply for the past 4-6 years. Even in areas where grid-connected electricity supply is present problems like load shedding, low voltage is common. Electricity in households is primarily used for home lighting purpose.

Sellers of solar systems/ components have been operating for the past 25-30 years and there has been an increase in the number of sellers in the past 7-12 years. Domestic customers account for 90% of the sales with the primary purchase made for home lighting systems.

Customers are mostly aware of the system they want to purchase along with their brand preference which in most cases is found to be Tata, Exide for panels and batteries respectively. Though consumers are aware of the solar systems available, lack of knowledge is still evident which can be observed from their usage which is far from the ideal in the context of installation and usage.

Domestic customers have been using solar systems for the past 25-30 years, more so in the last 10 years. Some inhabitants were seen charging their batteries using the solar panel (which is locally called plate), keeping the panels in shadow-free space in front of their shops during daytime and using the batteries to power lights in their homes after sunset.

Initiatives from Govt like Installation of solar systems for schools, banks, street lightning have improved conditions of such establishments, subsidies to domestic customers have boosted the usage of solar systems, at the same time failure of large-scale solar projects like Daudpur Solar Power Plant shows the lack of planning and improper execution leading to dissatisfaction among users.

Ahsim Ali

Chief Marketing Officer, AlienSolar

Experienced strategist & marketing professional, has working experience across ERP, Energy & Data Analytics. He did his Engineering in Electronics from University of Mumbai & MBA from Jadavpur University.

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