New Delhi: Uttar Pradesh, home to about 16% of India’s 1.2 billion population, many of whom have poor or no access to power, is emerging as the preferred testing ground for non-profits and companies trying out new business models as they seek to tap rising demand for electricity in rural India.
“In solar, there are two parts – one is the government utility projects, and they are going super slow,” Nidhi Modi, executive director, RAL Consumer Products, the largest off-grid solar company in India, said in an interview. “They are targeting 12 GW a year of capacity addition and they are getting 6 GW a year. So they are heavily dependent on the off-grid solar industry.”
We offer different levels of affordable lighting products: MITVA’s Nidhi Modi
‘Our offerings are not just safer than kerosene lamps but involve no running cost’
The Centre announced earlier this year that it will install around 10,000 mini-grids in poorly electrified areas across the country. The grids, which will run on renewable energy sources, are likely to be ready in about five years. According to publicly available data, India’s planned solar capacity is to be 110 GW by 2022, even as capacity stood at just 6.76 GW at the end of March 2016. Meanwhile, MITVA, an off-grid solar company of RAL Consumer Products Ltd, specializing in affordable lighting and energy solutions, generated revenues of ₹100 crore for the last fiscal. Nidhi Khaitan Modi, Executive Director, RAL Consumer Products, spoke to the Business Line about MITVA’s plans to expand offerings and enter new geographies.
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The Residential Off-grid Solar Market
Over five lakh families are already drawing power from off-grid networks and this number is only set to grow.
Electricity generated through coal is getting costlier by the year. Power shutdowns and rising reliance on diesel generators cause contamination and harm the environment.