Efficiency for Access Shares Market Insights on India’s Off-Grid and Weak-Grid Solar Appliance Market
India’s electric grid is expanding rapidly in rural areas, but grid reliability remains a challenge – only 22% of the rural population has access to reliable service. Distributed energy solutions such as stand-alone solar energy systems have become a viable alternative to provide dependable energy solutions to communities in off- and weak-grid areas and improve the socioeconomic status and quality of life for those without reliable access to energy services.
Widespread access to good-quality appliances compatible with distributed energy solutions are critically important to ensuring the social and economic benefits of energy access are realized. However, there is limited “on-the-ground” market knowledge about the availability of off-grid appropriate appliances in the specific off-grid solar markets.
To address market knowledge gaps, Efficiency for Access conducted market scoping surveys to identify products sold in local retail shops and gather data on off-grid appropriate appliances that are available to off- and weak-grid consumers in key retail markets. Efficiency for Access’s field consultants interviewed retail shop-owners, appliance distributors, and appliance consumers to provide anecdotal evidence and help understand the unique local context. Efficiency for Access has summarized key findings in a series of four country profiles, beginning with India.
Evidence from market surveys suggests India’s solar appliance market is vibrant and uniquely distinguished from other markets due to various contributing factors, including:
- DC appliances aren’t commonly sold in retail shops, but solar-compatible appliances, like AC refrigerators with digital inverters, are increasing in demand.
- The price of TVs and refrigerators varied widely due to factors like size and features offered while fans had little variation in price.
- The majority of products assessed through the market survey are covered by a warranty, a good indication of consumer protection, but coverage terms vary.