It is one of several digital platforms – including AHA Solar Rooftop Helper, SunPro+ and the Surya Mitra app – that have emerged to match job-seeking solar maintenance experts with customers in need of cleaning services and carefully.

Providing such services more efficiently is considered essential to help develop and achieve India’s renewable energy drive targets, which aim to shift the South Asian country away from its reliance on fossil fuels including coal.

This month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed a massive clean energy project to make Modhera in the western state of Gujarat the country’s first 24/7 solar-powered village, with citizens making their own electricity from 1,300 rooftop systems.

In the villages, if a battery goes dead, the solar lamp connected to it is turned off and remains that way.

Aviram Sharma, assistant professor, Nalanda University

The key to the project’s success – and ensuring sustainable power generation – will depend on good maintenance of the systems, the researchers said, pointing to several examples of poor after-sales service resulting in rooftop solar projects.

“In villages, if a battery breaks, the solar lamps connected to it are turned off and remain that way,” said Aviram Sharma, assistant professor at Nalanda University in Bihar, who conducts research on solar micro- grids in rural areas.

Remote villages lack shops where people can repair solar systems, unlike mobile phones, he said.

“As a result, it stopped working forever,” added Sharma.

India has missed its goal of installing 40 gigawatts (GW) of rooftop solar power capacity by the end of 2022.

An April report by consultancy firm JMK Research and the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), a non-profit, projected a 25GW capacity shortfall this year.

The high cost of installing solar systems – which can range from 40,000 to 80,000 Indian rupees ($482-964) for a 1-kilowatt system – has deterred many would-be consumers, sources said. provider.

For the ever-growing number of rooftop solar owners across India, meanwhile, keeping them up and running is the primary concern.

“Our market survey shows that early adopters of rooftop solar have had poor experiences,” said Vivek Kumar, who heads operations and maintenance at SunEdison.

“No one is selling the experience of going solar to a consumer. It’s being sold as a one-time investment that ends with installation. Maintenance is not mentioned,” he added.

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