8 Solar Business Ideas That You Should Seriously Consider

Have you ever considered building a business in the solar market? This infinite, renewable energy source has enormous potential and many recent studies suggest that our future will be fuelled by solar energy. If you are an energy entrepreneur or if you want to start your own business, then rejoice, because the solar energy business just might be the one you are looking for.

Before going through all the available opportunities, let us first take a look at the numbers and the market at large. The International Energy Agency (IEA) predicts that by 2050, solar energy will be the world’s largest source of power, surpassing fossil fuels and other sustainable sources of energy, such as wind and nuclear.

According to Maria van der Hoeven, director of the IEA, “the rapid cost decrease of photovoltaic modules and systems in the last few years has opened new perspectives for using solar energy as a major source of electricity”. Countries around the world face a huge energy deficit, and solar is one solution to meet this power shortfall. By 2013, enough solar was installed worldwide to provide 1% of the electricity demand – and there is still a long way to go.

Europe, until quite recently, was the principal booster of the solar revolution, with Germany leading it. However, countries such as China, Japan, the United States, India and Australia are slowly taking over Germany’s lead. The recent awareness of solar potential along with financial feasibility for solar power generation, has incentivized countries all over the world, especially in Asia, to create policies that support the solar investment. There is no doubt that the right moment to invest in solar is now.

Read the full article below and find out 8 solar business ideas or opportunities that you should seriously consider. And choose the one that suits you best!

8 Solar Business Ideas For You

1 – Selling solar products

Solar energy is not only about solar panels. In fact, there are many applications of solar, and each with their own set of components. Solar PV systems, for example, require over 20 components to function at full capacity! The basic components are panels, inverters, batteries, combiner boxes, charge controllers, transformers, breakers and relays, AC & DC wires, grounding equipment, and mounting structures.

Solar applications also include solar thermal systems, street lights, water heaters, cookers, gadgets, home lighting systems, air conditioners, refrigerators, toys and even vehicles. With such a wide variety of choices, why not create a company specializing in one of these applications? You should also consider the aftermarket products or solar servicing solutions for people who already have a solar installation.

2 – Investing in distribution

Manufacturers in the industry are fighting hard for their position in the market, and they are trying to find ways to put their products in front of the customers. A distributorship is an ideal solution to this common need. You can get into a contract with one or two solar manufacturers and create a profitable venture for yourself, especially if you consider the constantly growing market.

3 – Create a consultancy

Solar is a not only about technology, it is also about knowledge. If you are a solar expert, then you can become a consultant and sell advice to people who want to enter the market, install or finance a solar project, or even manufacture their own solar products.

4 – Financing solar projects

If you have the capability to provide financing or insurance, then you should keep an eye on solar. With the exponential increase of the market, there is an urgent need for financing of solar projects and their long-term (20-25 years) insurance. This is a great low risk opportunity with medium and sustainable returns.

5 – Invent new solar solutions

If you are an engineer, why not apply your skills to designing solar energy products or projects? Entering the solar industry is not difficult for those with basic electrical and mechanical engineering knowledge. You can learn how to design solar projects and even progress into installing them.

Many engineers have turned entrepreneurs and are providing solar power systems to end users. You can also enter the product design and development segment. You will need a little more electrical knowledge, but with your engineering background it should not be difficult at all. Just note that anything that works on electricity (AC or DC) generated from traditional power sources can work with solar power as well.

6 – Knowledge can be profitable

Other than being a consultant, you can monetize your expertise in other ways: so why not create an information portal online about products and services? Or even start a training school? The market is thirsty for quality information, so do good research, create your own reports, sell your e-books or start filming videos for solar trainings.

7 – Solar maintenance

While solar panels, and the system at large, require minimal maintenance, they do require proper cleanliness for maximum efficiency. This is especially true in dusty areas such as near deserts or desert like conditions that are often found in countries like India. Solar installations are also common on large unusable land. So, you can sell your services as a solar cleaner or a solar fixer.

8 – Non-profit projects

Not everything has to be about money. If you find fulfillment in empowering poor communities and bringing them electricity, or with environmental causes such as reducing fossil fuel emissions to mitigate global warming, then you can start your own non-profit organization. Many international organizations are looking for partners who can help them spread the message about solar and other clean, renewable forms for energy. Think about it, our planet depends on it.

Did you like any of these Solar Business Ideas? Do you have more ideas to share? Write your comment in the box below.

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Gayrajan Kohli
Gayrajan Kohli
Gayrajan is a staunch solar promoter, serial entrepreneur & management consultant. He has a decade of experience in solar PV, disruptive technologies and political consultancy in USA and India. He believes that development of solar and other renewable technologies is critical to India's energy security. Gayrajan holds a Masters and a Bachelors in Electrical Engineering from USA. Follow him on Twitter to gain daily industry insights.
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