This January, I spoke to a bunch of bright young students in a class at IIT, Delhi about rooftop solar in India. Their professor, Nomesh Bolia, wanted me to elaborate on the job opportunities in solar EPC industry. I am sharing here our discussion:

Design Engineering for Longevity in Solar

Solar Power Plants Need to be designed to last 25 years in harsh outdoor environments. Industry practice is to install junction boxes that are IP65 certified, mounting structure that are galvanized, cables that are uPVC procted- still these balance of components never come with life expectancy of 25 years. For beneficiaries to take full benefit of expensive solar power, design and system engineering needs to go into the balance of components to put together plants that will last as long as the solar panels are expected to.

Sales Specialist for Rooftop Solar Plants

Sales is one of the most obvious job opportunities in solar. Solar power is a relatively new industry and explaining customers the techno-commercials of solar is key. We are Sunkalp Energy have developed a tool that makes it easy for sales professionals to enter the solar industry. Try out the Sunkalp Android App if sales is your thing.

Cost Effective Maintenance Business of Solar Plants

Even though their are no moving parts in solar power plants, the systems require proper preventative and corrective maintenance which starts with cleaning of modules and includes detection of hot spots among other things. Cost effective monthly maintenance is the key to getting good CUFs and PRs and hence return on investment from solar plants. Their is a need for process innovation in the maintenance of solar power plants. In fact, entire new companies can be set up dedicated to this activity itself.

Financing for Solar Power Plants

Solar power has reached grid parity in many states in India where the cost of each unit of solar electricity is cheaper than conventional electricity. This makes it viable for financiers to invest in solar power plants and sell electricity from them to off-takers. There is a need for smart minds to design and implement financial models to effectively bring together debt and credit into solar projects.

Manufacturing of Components for Solar Plants

With the Make in India campaign on a high, manufacturing and assembly of components such as solar panels and solar inverters seems like an obvious business idea. In addition to these there are many other components such as solar module mounting structures and cables that go into a solar power plant. We need to design, develop and manufacture these in India to cater to the increasing demand from the solar industry. If you are a manufacturer or distributor of solar products, the Sunkalp App will help you market and distribute your solar products.

RESCOs- Renewable Energy Service Companies

RESCOs install solar power plants and sell electricity from them. This business model requires tremendous amounts of capital but there are several established companies taking up the challenge. In fact RESCO as emerged at the preferred mode of operation in western countries such as USA and Germany.

HR Staffing & Training for the Solar Industry

With the growing demand for talent in the solar industry, and the government’s push with training programs such as the Surya-mitras there is a business opportunity in specialized staffing and training. Companies need to address the need for technicians, project engineers, project managers, designers and sales personnel for the solar industry. Similarly specialized training is needed along with the established of accepted practices in solar.

If entrepreneurship is what you’re looking at instead of job opportunities, read about how you can build a solar EPC company.

Did we miss out any opportunities? Let us know in the comments section below.