Kerala-based electrical goods maker V-Guard Industries is planning to reach out to houses in Uttar Pradesh and states in eastern India that are lacking in access to electricity for its solar power solutions, as it aims to outgrow its traditional inverter business.
The firm, which has built a solution for homes with solar panels that can be installed on rooftops and backup batteries, says households in these regions look at solar solutions as a necessity as many homes still do not have access to conventional electricity.
“UP is a huge market. Here (in south) people invest in solar solutions to cut carbon footprint. In UP and other states in the east, solar power is a necessity because they don’t have electricity,”
V-Guards Industries managing director Mithun Chittilappilly said.
The firm will launch its solution in these markets later this year.
Chittilapally said the solutions were still expensive due to the high costs of solar panels and batteries. V-Guard’s systems use lead-acid batteries, while the longer lasting and superior lithium ion batteries are very expensive. V-Guard competes with players such as Su-Kam and Selco India, which have similar products that are installed on rooftops with batteries to store the electricity generated.
India has asked Elon Musk, the Silicon Valley entrepreneur who is building the world’s largest lithium ion installation — Gigafactory in the US — to replicate its factory in the country to bring down battery costs. This, the government hopes, would be used for rural electrification in the country.
Chittilapally says that the solar power solution business would outgrow the company’s traditional inverter business in the next seven to eight years. The inverter business generates about Rs 200 crore a year. The firm reported revenues of Rs 1,862 crore in 2015-16 fiscal. It claims it is the largest solar water heater firm in the country.
“We are present in nine categories and the share of voltage stabilizer is decreasing as it stands around 18 per cent,” he said.