According to reports, with power crisis expected to get worse in the state, demand for solar power plants has gone up over the last one month across the state.
Businesses are finding it tough to meet the new surge in demand as many receive almost 100 enquiries every day for installing solar power panels. Companies that were converting 10-12 enquiries a month back are supplying to over 40-50 customers lately. Demand is expected to go up further in the coming months, leading to longer waiting periods. Firms that were installing solar panels in 15 days are also taking over a month to service orders due to staff shortage.
“We have been getting large number of enquiries recently, mainly from professionals such as doctors. Other than power crisis, for many customers it is also a matter environmental concern,” said Siju Varghese, sales engineer, IGA Tech Industrial Electronics Pvt Ltd, Kochi.
Though the demand has gone up, number of people installing solar plants with a capacity of 1kW is still low. Most of the customers prefer installing 200-500w solar panels, designed to meet the demand during the one-hour power cut. While solar power plants with 200w capacity costs over Rs 40,000, the non-subsidised rate for 1kW capacity plant varies between Rs 2 to Rs 2.5 lakh.
“We are finding it difficult to meet the demand with our present staff strength. But it won’t be wise to increase staff,” said Georgekutty Kariyanappally, managing director, Lifeway Solar Devices Pvt Ltd, Kochi.
Number of companies in the solar panel business in the state has also gone up. If there were about 7-8 companies a year back, there are about 45-50 players in the state now.