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For many people, off grid industry is all about roof top solar power and telecom industry applications. However, the industry is much beyond that. It is desirable that a company acquire an understanding of all the available sub-segments and the opportunities that they represent before deciding to venture into this sector. In addition to the most prominent opportunities, it might be useful if they could spend time to analyze the niche areas that are underdeveloped, where solar PV could be better applied. Let me discuss here about some of the segments under served by the current electricity grid and hence could make excellent markets in the context of the solar PV industry.

  • The remotely operated oil and gas industry has always been on the lookout for sustainable and reliable decentralized power source. Solar PV systems are emerging as a viable solution to supply power for on-shore or off-shore oil & gas platforms.
  • The fresh water crisis in many regions have resulted in a major growth in the desalination industry and usually these plants are at places inaccessible for electricity or fuels. As a matter of fact, most of these areas enjoy an abundant solar intensity and longer annual sun hours. This makes an attractive case not just for solar PV but also solar thermal.
  • Similar to the telecom companies who relies on seamless connectivity in order to remain competitive in the market, in recent years, yet another industry is also pushed to have seamless presence at many regions in order to remain market competitive. It’s the banking industry which is vigorously setting up ATM’s across the country on a mass scale. These ATMs require uninterrupted power supply and connectivity to communicate with the ATM Network (Core Banking System) and avail transactions to its customers.  Solar powered ATM is a niche and attractive market segment where tremendous opportunities exist in the future.
  • Pumping water is a universal need around the world and the use of photovoltaic power is increasing for this application. PV powered pumping systems offer simplicity, reliability, and low maintenance for a broad range of applications between hand pumps and large generator driven irrigation pumps. Given the fact that there are over 7 million diesel operated water pumps in India and only few thousands of solar water pumps, there is an attractive opportunity in this sector too.
  • Remote monitoring stations for climate monitoring, seismic recording etc. are yet another attractive business segment for off grid solar solutions. Remote instrumentation and data communications equipment require reliable power to prevent interruption or loss of data. Photovoltaic power supplies are ideal for this application because the power requirements are usually low, and many units are installed far from conventional power sources.
  • Solar cooling is one of the most fascinating applications of solar energy since it generates cooling from sun’s energy and the system takes advantage of the coincidence of high solar radiation during peak summers and the need for A/C during the same period. This reduces the energy consumption significantly thus increasing environmental sustainability of buildings. Since solar cooling decreases power consumptions during peak hours, it reduces the risk of blackouts due to grid overload.

If the blog posting about the off grid solar business opportunities sounds appealing, then hold on.!

Knowing the partial list isn’t sufficient. There are much more niche and attractive opportunities that are available in the off grid solar sector. The comprehensive market intelligence report on the off grid solar sector from EAI would help you with valuable inputs, analysis and balanced opinion about the industry, based on the authentic information obtained after extensive study about the commercial and research efforts in the off grid solar industry.

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