In India, small businesses are using solar energy to reduce their production costs. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government is hoping they can persuade others and generate 100 gigawatts of solar installations by 2022.
The current predictions have 40 gigawatts coming from rooftop installations, so small businesses who suffer from high power tariffs can still contribute to India’s US$2 trillion economy without turning to polluting alternatives.
“Solar power costs us just a third of grid power and has also reduced our diesel backup cost,” says Rakshith Kunder, the owner of a small fish-meal and oil-products business. Currently, the price for solar power in India sits around 2.44 rupees a kilowatt-hour, which is among the lowest in the world. The World Bank plans to contribute US$625 million to support rooftop programs.
“These companies were constrained by their understanding of technology and the ability to arrange upfront capital, but now both these issues are being addressed,” Shantanu Jaiswal, the New Delhi-based research head for BNEF India says. “Small businesses are getting comfortable with the idea that solar is cheaper than the grid.”