Advertisement
Advertisement
advertisement

“Sunvest Capital was launched in 2019 as an NBFC, to solve for the market gap in rooftop solar financing.”

Give us a glimpse about your company presence and offering in the Solar sector?
Since 2015, Sunvest has championed the case for consumer rooftop solar for every home and every business in India. Our journey started with Sunvest Energy, a solar installation firm that deployed residential and commercial projects across several states in India. We installed high quality projects with the latest technologies across multiple states. Some of our residential and small commercial projects were the first net metering projects in the neighborhood and in some cases, even within the state.
Our technical rigor and best in class customer service was appreciated by government agencies, industry leaders, technology vendors and most importantly, hundreds of happy customers. But we knew something was missing – despite increasing consumer awareness, strengthening regulations and improving solar technology – there was a lack of access to easy financing from a trusted partner.
Our team combined their deep solar intelligence with expertise in financing to launch, what we believe is, India’s first dedicated rooftop solar financing platform. Sunvest Capital was launched in 2019 as an NBFC (Non-Banking Financial Company), to solve for the market gap in rooftop solar financing. We provide access to easy EMIs for reliable solar equipment that is installed by most trusted local installers in your area. We monitor your system across the life of the loan so you don’t worry about maintenance.
Our journey has been from an installation company to a financier but our focus and vision have always been consistent. Every home and every business in India have the potential to go solar and drive economic, social and environmental benefits. We are playing our small part in Making Solar Possible.


What are the key challenges & main growth drivers in the rooftop solar segment?
Challenges

The key areas of development in the rooftop solar segment are: 

  • Consistency in net metering processes
  • Clarity around subsidies
  • Easy access to financing
  • Need for quality / standardization of the equipment, installers
  • A strong push for consumer awareness

The industry needs to work with the central and state governments and other regulatory bodies to work on streamlining the net metering and subsidy related processes. We have to work with the utilities and ensure there is a win-win for everyone. Industry can and must solve for the issues around access to financing and quality standards.

Finally, I believe for consumer awareness, we need to come together as civil society and deliberate over the innumerable benefits of going solar. The awareness will increase only through dialogue and there has to be a mindset shift towards going green and going solar. In the past, we have seen the Government run very successful campaigns against social issues for example: cleanliness. We need something similar for decentralized solar adoption.

Drivers
Needless to say, there is a strong and increasing demand for solar across customer segments. Over the years, the fall in solar prices has resulted in increase in adoption, which has also brought more acceptance. When we started in 2015, customers had very limited knowledge about solar but now most people have references that drive their decision making. Net metering is very powerful driver in the rooftop solar space but most people are unaware of its benefits.


Do you think, micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) sector has a strong potential in achieving the 40 GW rooftop solar target by 2022? What can be done to accelerate its growth?
Small industries represent a major portion of the economy. They are, in many ways, the engine of our industrial growth. There is a strong demand and need for solar in the MSME segment as electricity costs are a large part of their overall expenses.

In our experience, SME clusters are interested in utilizing their roof spaces to avail benefits of solar. Some of them are as follows:

  • Economic Benefit – Savings on their electricity costs reduce Opex and enhance productivity
  • Carbon Mitigation – Many companies have a vision to go green, and very often its driven by their end customer who may have a mandate to have a green supply chain
  • Employability – Savings in electricity costs allow for more cash that can be used for other purposes in the business and often it could be to increase employee strength

Ways to accelerate MSME solar growth

Access to Financing is by far the most important driver to accelerate MSME solar adoption. Regardless of their cash position, many businesses feel that solar is not core to their business and hence a large upfront expenditure is unnecessary. Therefore, there is a strong latent demand for long-term financing solutions for MSMEs. From an awareness perspective, industrial associations and chambers of commerce could play a larger role in driving change. Many exports oriented MSMEs have realized that their counterparts are keen on a green value chain. This adds as a strong motivation to go solar.


Financing is still a major issue in the sector. How difficult is raising finance for solar projects? Do think we need policy changes and incentives or subsidy mechanisms to ramp up Solar Rooftop?
Incentives / Subsidies
We feel solar market has stabilized in India and to that extent, some of the incentives could be revisited. Globally we have seen that incentives are a great way to kick start the activity and spur the growth but once an inflection point has reached, the competitive drivers in the market should take over.

Financing Solutions
While large C&I projects have, to some extent, mitigated financing challenges via IPP routes and / or development finance, it’s the small-scale solar segment i.e. residential and small C&I that yet to see any robust financing solutions.
At Sunvest Capital, we realized that for any high upfront investment like homes, cars, mobile phones, an easy loan product is essential. A solar loan is akin to your car loan or any other asset finance, where you put down a certain amount of margin and take a loan for the remainder amount. You repay your loan through EMIs over a certain tenure.
Based on our market insights we have launched a solar loan product and I would like to share some details on the product and how we are with the customer across the solar loan journey:

Before the loan – Inspiring Trust

  • Equipment – Our proprietary methodology considers over 50 data points across quality, presence, strength, brand, service, technology, bankability to qualify the most reliable equipment. Additionally, we work with a leading global reliability and testing lab, where equipment gets tested for various technical parameters on an ongoing basis
  • Installers – India has many solar installers. Some are fly by night and some will stay the course. We know it’s hard for you to decide, hence we use a rigorous process to verify a network of trusted installer partners. We have obtained detailed feedback from their existing customers, conducted audits on their solar projects and checked their ability to execute high quality projects and obtain requisite approvals from authorities

The Solar Loan – Easy EMIs

  • You put down 30% margin, we finance the rest, such that your EMI will pay out of your electricity bill savings
  • No collateral over and above the solar system
  • Our fintech algorithms mean less paper and faster loans

Once the loan starts – Ongoing Monitoring

  • We remotely monitor your system at all times to ensure your project is performing at all times
  • You don’t have to worry about keeping a track on maintenance

Advantages of Sunvest Capital’s Solar Loan
Sunvest is more than a loan provider – We want to see solar succeed on your roof. Our firm has its roots in rooftop solar execution. We have an expertise in understanding the solar technology and the installation process. This intelligence differentiates us from other lenders in many ways:

  1. The unique qualification mechanism helps us select the most reliable equipment and most trusted local partners ensuring good quality projects with great service levels
  2.  We do not take any other collateral expect the solar project assets
  3.  Our average processing time for a solar loan is faster than our peers
  4.  We monitor your project at all times during the loan period, so you don’t worry about its performance

 

Do you feel there is a need for a paradigm shift in the awareness levels especially for catering to the Residential Roof top segment?
Residential solar growth has been muted among all the segments because of the frictions in the subsidy processes. I think it’s important to revisit the subsidy program and deliberate whether we even need those incentives.
As mentioned earlier, awareness campaigns are critical to communicate the innumerable benefits of solar. We need leaders at all levels to carry the message. From an air quality perspective, India has 15 of the top 20 polluted cities in the world. Now, is the time to rise and bring a fundamental shift in our thought process towards climate change.

Advertisement
Advertisement

UPCOMING EVENTS

SolarQuarter Tweets

Follow Us For Latest Tweets

SolarQuarter SolarQuarter Power100 Map| Revealing India's 100 Most Powerful Solar Business Leaders 2019 - https://t.co/eYnUVU63OS
About an hour ago
SolarQuarter Nominate Today For SolarRoofs Karnataka 2019! And Don't miss a beat. Follow us at: https://t.co/HlAqHsOhHx https://t.co/BGG5b8gU4Q
About 22 hours ago
SolarQuarter India Wind Energy Forum 2019 is almost here! Buy your ticket today https://t.co/2ophHXXrpv See you on Nov 14, 2019!
Sunday, 15 September 2019 05:40