The previous year was challenging for everyone across the globe, and the solar industry was no exception. The pandemic and lockdown at the start of the second quarter this year did pose
many obstacles for the industry. There was a demand shock. Supply chains were also adversely affected. Since the pandemic was an unprecedented situation, many companies had not stocked adequate material before the closing of the international borders.
However, on the positive side, awareness and acceptance of clean energy have only risen amidst the pandemic owing to a greater focus on health and sustainability. Amplus’s capacity increased to over 800 MW of operational and under-construction solar assets, while its rooftop
solar volumes jumped 30-40 per cent in the last nine months of 2020. This is because companies began focusing more on reducing their operating costs and thus became more open to the open access model that we offer. HomeScape, our residential solar business vertical, also witnessed steady growth during that time, and today HomeScape has solarised more than 600 homes.
The industry is now recovering speedily. As economic activity accelerates across the country, we are hopeful that the renewable energy industry will register an increased rate of growth in the coming year.
Expectations for 2021
In 2021, we are looking forward to a robust and balanced policy for sustainable growth of the sector. While the economy is still recovering from the pandemic, a forceful, supportive and stable policy regime is imperative for industries to grow. Our major expectations from the government are to provide long-term policy support that encourages self-reliant industries to meet their energy consumption through off-site and on-site sources of power. These sources can be either self-owned or set up by a developer like Amplus. In specifics, misinterpretation of captive rules, gradual abolition of net metering, absence of a policy framework for on-site projects, an attractive gross metering policy and, above all, the removal of high cross-subsidy and surcharges have been demanded by the industry for long. We hope that these are resolved in the coming year.
In the coming years, we expect the following five trends to take shape.
- The share of renewable energy will likely increase, especially distributed rooftop solar energy.
- There will be the development of battery storage technology, and making this viable will be the focus of the industry.
- Electric mobility has been a key focus area in the recent past for the low-carbon industry. In the coming years, we will see a deeper integration of electric mobility with the electricity industry.
- We can expect rapid digitalisation in the energy industry and an increase in the areas of IoT, AI and blockchain in this ecosystem.
- Newer energy generation sources like fuel cells and hydrogen cells have started emerging, and will also start featuring prominently in the energy mix.