There are new buzzwords in the marketplace, such as Solar power, Inverter systems, Lithium batteries. We here in Pakistan have a habit of giving opinion on technical, commercial, financial, legal, micro-financing etc. in abundance without knowledge or experience. We opine on each and every matter, like we do in case of religion, politics, energy mix, how to run factories, hospitals, hotels and son on. I worked in 4 other countries, besides Pakistan and travelled to almost 60 different countries. While working in in other countries, I find that the people concentrate on their own expertise and keep quiet when matters of other expertise is being discussed. A number of businesspersons want to know the physics and engineering of Solar panels, Inverter systems and Lithium Batteries; but WHY do they want to know such superfluous details. No in depth discussion will make them make a better decision. They need to make business decision NOT a physics, chemistry and engineering decision. We need to STOP this habit. Let the experts guide the businesses and do their work. Especially, the businesses waste their time, money and efforts on matters other than their CORE business. A study shows that a manufacturer can increase profit by 1% by concentrating in core business, while hiring expertise or outsourcing for less than 0.01% of total expenses. The Businesspersons and top management (CEO/CFO/CTO/CIO) need to aim to make sustainable and annually increasing profits, upgradation of core business, expansion of core business and higher market share of the core business. When my businessperson friends give me lectures on mono and poly crystalline, thin film, bifacial, Inverters, net metering, GST, SRO, ARE Policy and so on. All I say to them is to use ‘perovskites’ solar cells. This stops further discussion. It is difficult to pronounce perovskites.
Since this magazine is mostly read by the businesspersons therefore, I would confine myself to a solution in the solar power systems market, including Solar Panels, Inverter systems and Batteries. Although I am holder of MSEE (USA), having my minor in Solar but I will refrain from getting into the physics, chemistry and engineering of Solar panels, Inverter systems and batteries. I will rather discuss the economics and business sense; since I am MBA (USA) also; therefore, I can opine on economics and business sense, as well.
Way Forward to Solar Power less than WAPDA/KE: One option highly recommended is to get Kwhr/KW by way of BOOT (Build, Own, Operate and Transfer) or BOO (Build, Own and Operate) from the ‘Solar System Service Providers’ (SSSP) at say, KE/WAPDA Minus Rs 3/Kwhr via a SBLC; without making huge investments or taking the risk.
Objectives of Business: The businesses require (1) power (KW & Kwhr) at (2) electricity at a lower price (Rs/Kwhr) than WAPDA/KE for the next 35 years and (3) uninterruptible power supply at pre-determined Voltage AND not do R&D on Solar systems. The Solar system service provider will take all the risks for the technology and investment. The business person needs to give adequate land, access to the premises during installation of Solar panels and if need be water for cleaning the solar panels during operations. It is a known fact that with the passage of time the crystals become blind and the panels lose their efficiency. Inverters are another low reliability equipment prone to damage and low efficiency. Furthermore, for the technology changes the Solar system service provider will change the equipment but it is very difficult for the businesses to make expenditures on solar panels, inverters etc. in later years. The businesses will then again waste their time, money and efforts evaluating replacement of Solar cells/panels, Inverters and Batteries. It may be noted that tons and tons of used, low efficiency and near to blindness Solar panels are being sold by many countries, which are being sold at a very amazing low price. The physics of Solar cells that make a solar panel is peculiar unlike plant, equipment and machinery. The cell blindness is not gradual but sudden, especially after 5 years of use. The sellers may sell solar panels that give desired Kwhr for during the warranty period, thereon the solar cells may start blinding exponentially. This phenomenon is very serious and detrimental to the investors scheme of business.
Giving the Solar Systems Service Providers all your headaches is a better business decision than wasting time, money and efforts on evaluation of Solar Systems and operating something hi-tech which is not your core business, does not make sense. It is highly recommended that businesses may concentrate on their Core Business and let the Solar Systems Service Providers/experts do the solar power generation, take all the risks and make all the investment via BOOT/BOO mechanics.