As the world becomes more dependent on energy supplies, developing countries like India are looking to solar power as a potential source of clean and affordable energy. But let’s be realistic – the sun doesn’t always shine brightly in India, so what do we do? Build a solar farm, of course!
While there are plenty of companies that offer standard solar farm systems, there is a specific niche market for solar farm developers who want to design and build a bespoke system, tuned to the specific needs of a particular project. In order to best serve their customers, these companies have had to venture into uncharted territory, and that’s what we’ll explore in this article – how to become a solar farm developer and what you need to know about designing and building your own bespoke system.
The Rise of the Solar Farm Developer
The first recorded instance of someone building a solar farm can be traced back to the 17th century, with the invention of the photovoltaic cell, better known as the solar cell. Since then, the technology has progressed, and today it is capable of converting solar energy into electricity with an efficiency of around 15% – more than enough to power small devices like radios and lanterns. And that’s just the beginning.
The growing popularity of solar power is evidenced by the fact that global investment in the sector hit a record high of $153 billion in 2021 alone.
As the world pursues green energy, especially as governments introduce renewable energy targets to combat climate change, the demand for solar power is expected to double by 2040.
What’s more is that as energy prices rise, individuals are looking to reduce their carbon footprint by doing more with less. As a result, there is now a lucrative market for companies that can design and build efficient and cost-effective solar farms.
Where To Start?
In order to build a successful business, you need to know where you can find the demand for your products and services, as well as the money to pay your workers. One way to achieve this is by identifying and entering into strategic partnerships with major corporations and organisations that have regular needs for your products and services.
In 2021 alone, corporate energy consumers are projected to spend an astounding $14.7 trillion on energy worldwide, which amounts to more than 40% of global GDP. And as individuals seek greener and more sustainable ways of living, more businesses will turn to corporate energy consumers to help them reduce their energy bills.
A Strategic Partnership With A Major Corporation
As an established, successful corporate entity, you can enter into a strategic partnership with a leading corporation in order to gain access to new markets and resources. By entering into a strategic partnership with a corporation that has a major need for your products and services, you can instantaneously achieve profitability – you don’t need to develop your business plan around a losing venture.
Through these partnerships, you can access important resources like customer base, distribution channels and finances – in other words, the entire ecosystem that can make or break your business. The benefits of entering into such a partnership with a major corporation include the ability to:
- access new markets
- learn new skills
- gain experience
- form a coalition of support
- identify potential acquisition targets
- get funding
- borrow money from the bank
- subscribe to contract worker insurance
- take out a business loan
- register your business for legal and regulatory compliance
- find out more about government funding for business
The Benefits of Bespoke Design
When you build a bespoke solar farm, you have complete control over its design and layout, as well as the ability to spec out every component and feature. This makes it a more attractive proposition to certain businesses and organisations that have very specific needs. Having a degree of flexibility is important, particularly if you want to secure a long-term, sustainable energy supply for your operation.
Thanks to the explosion in the popularity of cryptocurrencies, it is now possible to secure funding for all types of ventures – even those that appear to have no chance of succeeding. Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin were created to solve the problem of inflation, and as a result, they are very well suited to funding new businesses and innovative projects.
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are also very attractive to future purchasers, who see them as viable, long-term investments that provide lucrative returns. With the right business plans and professional presentation, it is now possible to secure funding for almost any type of venture – including a solar farm!
Cutting Edge Research And Development
In addition to gaining access to new markets and resources, you can also engage in ground-breaking research and development that ultimately leads to a more streamlined product. As a result, you may benefit from cost savings, as well as gains in efficiency and performance that allow you to service your customers more effectively.
To cite one example, Enova was started in 2015 with the specific mission of developing a commercially viable form of thin-film PV technology. Thanks to their proprietary process and unique material choices, they were able to reduce the cost of their PV modules by 23% – making them more competitive in the marketplace. In the words of co-founder and CEO Jonathan Bartlett:
“The aim of Enova’s technology is to enable any business or government entity to harness the power of the sun, free from the need to purchase expensive, complex equipment or hire specialized contractors.
“We are thrilled to have reached this stage and are eager to work with industry partners to develop innovative products that solve practical problems like cost, reliability or availability of energy.”
Where To From Here?
After you’ve established yourself as a solar farm developer, the next step is to expand your business across all regions and countries. One way to do this is to enter into international trade agreements and memoranda of understanding with partners and allies in countries where you operate, in order to gain access to export markets and resources.
Some of the biggest economies in the world are turning to renewable energy – both solar and wind – and are aiming to achieve 100% green energy by 2045. This presents a huge market for you to enter, particularly as countries like Brazil, Germany, China and the U.S.A. are seeking to reduce their energy reliance on fossil fuels.
To give you an idea of the size of this market, here are some estimated figures for solar power as a percentage of global energy use in 2021.
- India (population: 1.324 billion)
- Indonesia (population: 261 million)
- Pakistan (population: 182 million)
- Bangladesh (population: 162 million)
- Turkey (population: 104 million)
- Brazil (population: 193 million)
- Argentina (population: 48 million)
- Mexico (population: 104 million)
There needs to be a balance between supply and demand, so if your product and service are in demand, then more people will need to become involved in the production process in order to meet the demand – which ultimately raises your costs. The key to establishing a successful business is in controlling these costs so that you can remain competitive, while ensuring you meet the demand for your product or service. As a result, you’ll want to become a specialist in reducing these costs – something only experienced corporate entities with in-house legal departments, procurement departments and maintenance teams can do.
What are your thoughts on the future of solar power and why do you think it will be so important in the next five years? We’d love to hear from you – join the conversation by commenting below!