June 21, 2024

Solar Awareness of Kerala’s Women-Powered Solar Startups

The organic rise of Solar Awareness can now be witnessed even in Kerala, thanks to women-led solar startups such as Freyr Energy and Zircle making deep inroads in Kerala’s residential market.

It is now these pioneer organisations that are steering the way towards solarising Kerala’s homes and easing the transition to clean energy, asserting themselves as drivers of this impending future of Kerala.

Freyr Energy: Empowering Kerala Homes with Solar

With the aim of ‘solarising’ 2,000 homes in Kerala by the end of 2020, the Hyderabad-based Freyr Energy is co-founded by Radhika Choudary.

The energy start-up, which claims it has built the largest rooftop solar power portfolio in India, aims at the homeowner countrywide (a minimum monthly bill of Rs 2,000 for electricity and rooftop access), micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME), industries, infra and commercial buildings.

With a recent equity investment of Rs 58 crore and with a plan to open its first shop in Kerala ‘shortly’, Freyr’s proprietary SunPro+ App ‘enables a simple customer journey from discovery to the day the solar system is deployed’.

Choudary pointed out that the higher levels of Solar Awareness in Kerala made it an important target market. Freyr Energy overcomes the upfront cost barrier by providing instant financing with zero-cost EMI options.

And in a state where more than a crore households exist, but fewer than two lakh have put up solar panels, the room for expansion is promising.

With 71,050 solar consumers resulting into a coming capacity of 415.35 MW, Kerala, today, has substantive growth of 276 MW between Q2 2022 and Q2 2023.

Consistent with such performance, in Q1 2023, Kerala had a 10 per cent share in national solar power generation. This also implies that for every two new homes built in the state of Kerala, one of them is an addition to solar-power generators.

More than 90.32 per cent of the solar consumers represent residential consumers, reflecting in the large adoption of solar installations at residences. Today, the generation of solar power in Kerala contributes for around 10 per cent of total generation of electricity in the state. Moreover, Kerala is scheduled to reach a total generation of 1,000 MW from solar sources by 2022.

Zircle: Simplifying Clean Energy Transition

Zircle, started by a fellow native of the small town of Thodupuzha, Selna Saji, aims to transform the customer buying experience as she seeks to make the transition to clean energy easier for residential consumers across India.

The start-up runs a curated catalogue of solar installers across the country that are verified and trusted. Through Zircle, consumers get a quote and suggestions based on their energy needs and can thus choose a solution for themselves.

In fact, it has now spread to all of India, with markets covered in Karnataka, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra, besides tie-ups with the leading solar companies to bolster its offerings.

Rooftop solar installations and terrestrial units will further ensure that Kerala leaves its solar trail behind As Kerala develops its solar story, startups such as Freyr Energy and Zircle will usher in the state’s eco-friendly future.

Kerala aims to achieve 50 per cent of its energy needs from renewable sources with more than 1,000 MW of these coming from the cumulative installed capacity of startups such as these two.

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