Mon, 18 Mar, 2019

Small steps today, big advancements for a renewable energy powered future

Admitting that there has been no difference in the scale of business due to GST and nothing has been affected by the introduction of it, Darshan Naik, of Solar World is hopeful of Goa going Solar on a large scale in the next few years

04th March 2019, 03:23 Hrs

BHARATI PAWASKAR  


Shivanand Naik (name changed) from Siolim is happy that he does not have to pay the recurring bill of electricity consumption as he does not use any in his home that’s on a hilltop and little away from the rest of the village. It’s been five years that he installed solar power to run his home and invested in a battery that has a life of five years. Since he is maintaining the battery well, it’s still in good condition and all the equipment in his home operate with the help of solar energy during the day and run on battery at night.  

Going solar is the best thing in Goa, as we have plenty of sunny days in a year. Goa doesn’t produce electricity and we have to purchase it from other states. Most builders and land developers who construct residential and commercial complexes on a mass scale prefer to go solar. Even individual building homes and bungalows invest in solar heaters and solar grids that provide sufficient electricity to the entire house.  

“The trend of using solar energy for housing, commercial or industrial purpose began in Goa around 25 years ago,” recalls Darshan Naik, who did installations of solar equipment back then. Today, proprietor of Solar World, Darshan deals with solar equipment and is Goa distributor for Jain Irrigation and Solar Systems. In the financial year (2017-18) Darshan sold water heaters worth 45,000 litres capacity, grid worth 15 kilo wat capacity and pumps worth 8 HP and is hopeful of making a bigger business in the current financial year, irrespective of new GST rules.   

He admits, “The concept was new back then but those who had studied its long-term benefits willingly invested in the equipment. But solar energy was not used on a mass scale for industrial purpose, more so because electricity was and still is, cheaper in Goa compared to other states. Though the government buys electricity from outside states, it is supplied, albeit with a small profit margin, to residences and on a higher rate for commercial purpose.”  

For schools and colleges, offices and institutions that are open during the day and which do not work during the night, solar energy is beneficial, suggests Darshan as their appliances and equipment can work on solar energy easily during the day. For hospitals, hotels and resorts that work through the night, switching over to electricity at night serves as a good option according to him.  

It was a decade ago that Darshan turned a distributor. Being in mechanical line for over a decade he was well-versed in installations when he decided to quit his job and start something on his own. He opted for dealership of Jain Irrigation and Solar Systems that sold solar pumps, grid system and water heaters. It’s been a decade now that he has successfully taken his business to the next level, witnessing 60 per cent growth from where he began. Though his clients are spread across state, it is the resorts North Goa that  he caters to most.   

Solar energy can meet the electrical needs of an entire home. “It is a one-time investment. Using solar power is an environment friendly way of taking the help of nature with no recurring cost of electricity,” states Darshan in recommendation of adopting non-conventional methods of using energy with safe, reliable and easy to use equipment.  

Citing an example he states, “Water heater is an equipment to heat water using solar energy. It does not produce electricity but carries heat energy. The heaters are ideal for domestic, commercial or industrial use as the daily heating expenses are almost nil. They save energy, are easy to install and to maintain and come with no fear of shock or accident. ”

Like water heaters, the roof top solutions are also available for residential, commercial and industrial usage. He has solar heaters with 100, 2000 and 4000 litre water capacity. A central government subsidy is available for thse whose annual income is below Rs 6,00,000. While solar water heaters come with seven-and-a-half-year warranty, the pumps have a life of two years. Solar grids (panels) have a life of 25 years once installed. Darshan expects that awareness about climate change in Goa will lead to growth in the grid buyers.  

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