Even though India is increasingly increasing solar power generation capacity, setting an example for many other developing nations, there is a large population of the South Asian nation that has not yet joined the clean energy movement: Indian households. .
Less than one percent of Indian homes have rooftop solar systems. This slower adoption could undermine Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious renewable energy goal. SolarSquare, a startup that is racing to sell, install and help individuals finance solar modules, wants to change that.
On Friday, several investors announced that they are supporting SolarSquare’s dreams. SolarSquare raised $4 million in a round led by Good Capital. Chris Sacca’s Lowercarbon Capital also invested in the company, his first support in India.
Symphony Asia, Rainmatter, Better Capital, Climate Angels, as well as operators such as Maninder Gulati from OYO, Ashish Goel from Urban Ladder and Amit Kumar Agarwal, Akhil Gupta and Saurabh Garg from NoBroker also participated in the round.
“The story of energy and energy is that it is produced in highly polluted coal plants, somewhere hundreds of kilometers from your home and the distribution network reaches your home. It’s polluting, it’s expensive, and a lot of energy is lost in transmission,” Shreya Mishra, co-founder and chief executive of SolarSquare, told TechCrunch.
“The future is distributed energy, where each house has its own solar panel. It’s much cheaper than buying electricity from the grid and it’s clean,” she said.
SolarSquare, which started serving the customer segment a year and a half ago after running a profitable business selling solar energy to companies for years, has sold solar systems to more than 3,000 homes and apartments in the South Asian market.
“Our average home is saving up to $650 on electricity bills each year,” she said. SolarSquare’s systems and configuration cost about $1,500 and have a lifespan of 25 years. The equation is simple, said Mishra, who previously ran an e-commerce business. “You get free electricity for 21 years.”
SolarSquare – which currently has a presence in Delhi-NCR, Maharashtra, Bengaluru, Telangana and Madhya Pradesh – installs its solar panels in 8 hours, compared to some legacy companies which take up to five days. In some homes, at the request of the customers, an additional ramp is built for the assembly of panels.
“Climate change issues are real and urgent. As a company, we are committed to partnering with best-in-class entrepreneurs who are tackling the challenges of this market. We are excited to partner with Shreya, Neeraj and Nikhil as they set out to build India’s leading residential solar brand,” said Rohan Malhotra, managing partner at Good Capital, in a statement.
Indian companies that are making inroads with Indian households will help the South Asian country’s renewable energy goal. Coal currently powers 70% of India’s electricity generation, but Modi has promised that India will produce more energy through solar and other renewables than its entire grid now by 2030.
He has taken steps to help startups like SolarSquare. New Delhi offers subsidies to homeowners that are powered by solar energy on the roof, allowing them to distribute the excess energy they generate to the grids throughout the day and use grid power at night.
The startup plans to deploy the new funds to expand its presence in India and also build a technology stack for consumers to help them track their solar performance in real time.
Mishra is confident that India will witness a similar kind of adoption in rooftop systems, as has happened with smartphones and mobile internet.
“India is already the world’s third largest electricity consumer and will increase capacity the size of Europe over the next twenty years just to keep up with demand. Solar Square will help drive this growth with its rooftop one-day solar installations, which are already making energy cheaper and more reliable for thousands of Indian homes,” said Clay Dumas, general partner at Lowercarbon, in a statement.