Plans to develop SWH projects

Indian Union Ministry of New and Renewable energy has prepared a study to develop an Area Based Energy Service Company (ESCO) model for solar water heating (SWH) and to assess the potential of carbon financing in order to achieve scale in SWH development in the country.

SWH has seen considerable progress in the Country. A total of 3.53 million sq m of SWH collector area has so far been installed in the country, of which about 1.55 million sq m has been installed since 2005-06.  These achievements are termed to be modest compared to the overall potential, but the achievement has seen a reasonable infrastructure emerging with experience in manufacturing and installation of SWH systems. Of the estimated gross potential of 140 million sq m collector area for SWH systems in India, 40 million sq m has been estimated as the realizable techno-economic potential at this stage. A target of 7 million sq m has been set by the first phase (2010-13) and 20 million sq m by the end of the third phases (2017-22) of solar mission.

In a bid to achieve penetration during mission period and beyond, an innovative model has been proposed. This new scheme — Fee-for-Service model where people buy a service, in this case hot water, from a energy services company (ESCO), rather than energy to perform the service (eg, purchasing electricity so it can be used to heat water). An ESCO is defined as a company that would install, own and operate SWH systems to provide energy services to consumers.

The study is intended to draw out a set of implementation guidelines for facilitating service-based delivery of hot water through SWH systems. Delivery model like ESCO scheme has the potential to scale solar water heating development in the country, said the report.

We are working on similar models for solar PV at townships, hospitals, temples, hotels where we create opportunities. We are looking to discuss this with Investors/ RESCO companies/Solar EPC companies/Financial Institutions/Business Associates across India.

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