An Italian startup, Sol Chip Ltd., is developing solar energy systems for electronic and mobile devices.
The company’s processors use solar energy to recharge the batteries of mobile and remote devices, extending the batteries’ life and the device’s independence, lowers costs, and reduces pollution.
These are the types of niche ideas that I’d recommend to startups in India keen on getting into solar, especially if the startup is headed by guys with tech backgrounds. I see a rush for putting up grid connected and off-grid solar power plants. Absolutely everything right about this, except that this is not exactly a domain where the entrepreneur innovates much, either in terms of technology or in terms of business models, because technology comes from the cell/module/inverter vendors and business models to a large extent need to play along with government policies.
Significant needs exist for solar power in such niche offgrid domains. In a similar vein, I suggested to a prominent Indian company that had called me over for a discussion about the possibilities to use solar for needs of campers and hitchhikers. For that prominent company, it was felt that this could be too small a market, but for a startup, this could be a great market to start with.
Imagine if your company could develop a well-designed solar power camping power supply system that campers, hitch-hikers and picnicers could carry along with them wherever they go. As long as there is sun (and for a few hours in the night as well), they are able to use it for lighting, perhaps for a couple of hand held fans, for charging their mobile batteries…you get the idea.