Amisha Yadav @CCMS Bureau
The state government should make it easy for behind the meter projects as they do not affect the power network nor are they illegal activity. In an interview to EarthConnect Ashish Sharma, promoter of Arunam Business Service Ltd. said the company is diversifying into operations and management of solar projects. He also foresees a rapid expansion of electric vehicles, charging points and other necessary activity related to it. Excerpts…
Q1. How do you see the future of the solar unfolding?
Ans. We’re already seeing the signs of a green mobility revolution. Five years ago, electric vehicle was almost nonexistent. Today, one can see electric vehicles on the road even though their numbers are small. But the adoption of EV is expanding faster. According to some estimates 10%of the passenger cars sold in the recent month are EVs. Given this emerging situation, EVs will have a bigger road presence in the next three to five years. That in turn will fuel demand for charging stations and other components associated with it. It is likely that most of the power would come from solar. So the future of solar is as enduring as the sun itself.
Q2. Do you think the cap on net metering volume at 500 Kw has slowed down the rooftop installations?
Ans. The government’s decision to limit rooftop capacity to 500Kw has certainly impacted the industry. But there are many cases where the promoters of businesses are setting up behind the meter projects for their consumption. Even though they cannot export power to the government network they find enough value in using what they generate. In the past, some companies having behind the meter projects were served notices for not taking government approval for these projects. There are some states like Uttar Pradesh where net metering has not been introduced. In those states industrial units setting up behind the meter projects do not face any hurdles. In Rajasthan too the energy department should not make it difficult for industries to setup behind the meter projects. It is logical to provide information about such projects to the government. But the approval process should be seamless and automatic.
Q3. You have been doing both rooftop and ground-mounted projects. How do you see the demand for such projects and are you planning to diversify to other verticals in the industry?
Ans. The fact that energy prices are rising, it would compel the consumers to move towards solar. There would be no reversal to this basic trend. Only the speed of installation would be a matter to watch out for. At present, the demand is slightly sluggish but it’s going to pick up very soon. The 55 MW rooftop projects being implemented by Jaipur, Ajmer and Jodhpur discoms will lend a fresh fillip to the segment. As far as our business is concerned, we are entering into operation and management of solar projects while retaining the same bigger thrust on installation of ground-mounted and rooftop projects. We already have bagged some O&M projects and we see great demand in the segment.
Q4. How has been your journey so far in the sector?
Ans. I started this company in 2013. Before that I was a stock broking branch manager of a leading company. But I came to know about the solar sector from a family friend and the opportunities in the sunrise sector convinced me of a bright future. Though I started as a distributor of solar equipments like heaters and others, I got into the EPC part of the business in 2017. I’m quite upbeat about the prospect of this sector and feel lucky to have shifted to the sector in 2013.