Industrial Solar Power Systems have gained popularity in India with major industries resorting to solar power for avoiding grid outage situations. With the provision of open access in most of the states, industrial solar power systems are increasingly used by textile, cement, paper, steel, chemical, dairy and ceramic industries to cut down their electricity expenses.
Electricity users in India are typically classified into 3 different categories as Commercial, Industrial and Domestic consumers. A significant 44.2% of the entire electricity generated in India is used for industrial consumption, making it one of the most important sectors with respect to electricity demand.
The grid tariff for industrial consumers can go as high as INR 7/unit for non-peak hours and is much more for peak usage. Pertaining to heavy usage, especially during the peak hours, electricity constitutes major variable cost for industries. Industrial solar power, therefore, is a way to reduce the peak loading of the grid and do away with high tariff rates for the peak hours.
The high load requirement and large available rooftop area compared to commercial and domestic consumers make solar a viable alternative for industries. Often, the other incentive for many big industries to use ‘industrial solar power’ is to show an increased share of renewables in their energy portfolio and meet their RPOs (Renewable Purchase Obligations). Industrial firms with captive ‘industrial solar power ‘systems also have the option of availing tax benefits, capital subsidies and other incentives as applicable.