What Are The Emerging Business Opportunities In The Solar Asset Management Industry?

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Asset management typically refers to the systematic direction of assets over their life cycle. Assets are either physical or intangible. Physical assets can include equipment that generates value and its components. Intangible assets include cash and securities. Solar asset management can be fragmented into three components: Technical solar asset management, Commercial solar asset management and Financial solar asset management. Solar asset management industry is growing by leaps and bounds. Today there are new opportunities in the field of data monitoring, machine learning and artificial intelligence.

Let’s see what our experts think:

As the Solar industry is growing and maturing, new business opportunities are opening in the Operations and Maintenance domain. These include, but are not limited to, drone-based imaging, data monitoring and analytics, automated cleaning, forecasting, etc. A common underlying theme across all these is digitization. Solar assets can no longer be considered as a physical collection of solar panels producing only electricity. These assets also produce valuable data which can be dissected and transformed into valuable insights to further increase the value of these assets.

So, overall, as the industry consolidates and O&M of solar assets move away from traditional technologies to new-age technologies, a lot of businesses are being built in this space. There would be further specialization between small and big rooftops, and big scale utility plants depending on the specific intricacies in each of them.

Ankur Gupta, AVP, New Products & Technology, Amplus Solar

Typically referring to the systematic operation and maintenance of assets over their life cycle in order to realise their value, solar asset management involves both physical and intangible assets. While physical assets include solar equipment and components, intangible assets consist of cash and securities.

While solar asset management, together with its technical, commercial and financial aspects, entails maintaining the physical equipment and components of a power generating site and generation and sale of energy, the end objective is to ensure optimal financial performance.

Given the intense competition and growing demand that have led to low pricing, asset management services are likely to get only cheaper. With developers now looking to optimise their returns and increase the longevity of their plants, asset managers now have their task cut out in deploying resources, skills and strategies to the best of their abilities with focus on advanced digital asset management platforms.

The expectations are high and the opportunities aplenty. Given the high stakes, it is clearly a case of survival of the fittest. But for solar asset managers who live up to their billing, the sky is clearly the limit in this sunshine industry.

Simarpreet Singh, Director and CEO, Hartek Solar Pvt Ltd.

The Solar Asset Management Industry is coming of age, and it needs to. Thanks to the  already burgeoning Solar Developer Ecosystem which includes not only the World’s largest Fund Managers but also some of the biggest names in Oil & Gas and almost all leading Utility companies across the World. Think Shell, Petronas, Total, EDF, Enel, NTPC, Adani, and the list goes on. With the Worldwide Installed Solar Power capacity crossing 500 GW in 2020 and the average asset age inching beyond the 2-year mark, Solar Asset Management has taken centre-stage in the Solar Industry’s collective consciousness.

While the backgrounds might vary, the underlying returns expectations and risk assessments of solar investors are quite similar. The Solar Asset Management Industry is founded on the premise of making these Risk-Return assumptions a reality and then keeping it that way as the portfolios grow. The Solar Asset Manager’s agenda branches out from two broad objectives: (1) Increase Portfolio Revenue, and (2) Reduce Overall Costs.

Re-powering of Solar Plants such that investors can boost returns is a possibility considered in almost every 5 to 10 year old asset. The implementation, however, is often delayed or executed poorly. The same is the case with managing waste from solar power plants. Re-powered or not, all the solar plants beyond the 5 year age have considerable waste that needs to be disposed of in a sustainable manner but with few or no options in most geographies.

Kartikeya Narain Sharma, Head – Growth & Strategy, Sunsure Energy Pvt. Ltd.

To read in detail, download the SolarQuarter India Magazine, January 2021 Issue

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