Solar panel: Leasing as an option

Despite  govt.  subsidy  most of us are not that keen,  because of high cost of putting in place a household solar power system.  Maybe, it is time some fresh MBA graduates got enterprising enough to start a solar leasing company in our town.  In Chennai, and most other cities and towns residential apartment communities are coming up all over. Emerging residential communities in Chennai’s  OMR belt, and development of self-contained residential townships generate potential for solar power leasing business .  Mantri Synergy complex at Padur,  where I live has 750 plus apartments in high-rise  towers spread over 9 acres.  Besides roof-top we can tap space in our common area  by providing  solar-panelled shelter over open parking  lots.

Solar power system,  once installed,  needs almost no maintenance other than a good rinsing of solar panels with a garden hose, now and then.  Solar power generating system,  they say,  has a 30-year life span.

PayPal founder  Elon Musk,  who is into solar energy leasing among other things, reckons that in less than 20 years we would be generating more power from solar than any other energy source. Today’s   challenge is in  keeping the cost of installation and financing reasonably low.  A business advantage  in  leasing is,  the company can claim govt.subsidy/rebate  as owner of solar power system.  In a more competitive  set-up  it  may have to pass on part of the subsidy to  customers.  The leasing company will  be entitled to carbon credit.

Elon Musk has a company – Solar City – that is focused on leasing solar panels to consumers and businesses. They  help  people calculate how much money they can expect to save with solar panels,   sets up the financing,  and coordinates the installation of the panel.


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