Amazon has found a hungry niche for solar energy products in India. Apparently, although India has an impressive reputation of being among the top five electricity producers in the world by installed capacity, millions of people in this Asian country still lack access to any form of electricity. To be more precise, over 300 million people in India have no access to electricity. The country would have to make serious additions to its existing electricity generation capacity and infrastructure before this group finally enjoys the innumerable benefits that electricity currently offers to billions of people around the globe.
But this wait may be too long, and people are looking for other alternatives such as solar energy and other renewable energy sources to power their homes. Amazon solar energy products targeted at the Indian market are in the front line when it comes to providing those who have no access to power, with the means to create their own domestic power generation systems.
What Does Amazon’s “Solar Store” Have To Offer
The Amazon solar energy catalog, aptly named “Solar Store”, contains numerous affordable solar products that an average person can use to create a solar power system in their own homes. While some of these devices are common solar energy products such as solar panels, solar charge controllers, solar lanterns, and technical manuals for people who work in the industry, other products are quite intriguing. For instance, there is a cap retailing for 800 rupees (less than $13) that contains a fan and a small solar module to keep you cool when the sun’s heat proves to be unbearable. I wonder how many of these they are selling in the heat wave that has killed over 2300 people so far. There is also a solar-powered string of butterflies that can be used as decorations during parties and other happy occasions.
Naturally, solar modules are an important aspect of the Amazon solar energy offering. In fact, they are some of the most popular products in the Solar Store. While there are decent solar panels available in the extensive solar products catalog, there are also extremely cheap solar panels. For instance, for just 609 rupees (about $10), you can own a solar panel that can provide 5 watts of power. If your pocketbook can take it, you can even spring for a 1,000 W solar panel for 60,000 rupees (about $950). Although no particular solar panel company seems to dominate the solar panel market, ELECSSOL and Belifal make regular appearances in the product list.
Lanterns are also quite common in the Amazon Solar Store targeted at the Indian market. This is understandable, considering that most people looking to use electricity in remote Indian locations may only be looking for cheaper lighting alternatives. Lanterns present a great proposition – they not only help reduce the use of non-renewable energy, but they also lower costs for the millions of people who previously had to buy kerosene and other non-renewable energy sources to light their homes. A solar lantern goes for about 600 rupees, which is about $10. Amazon even has a solar LED lamp that also acts as a mosquito repellent, and this lantern is quite popular among buyers, if the reviews on the retail site are anything to go by.
Gordon's expertise in the area of industrial energy efficiency and alternative energy. He is an experienced electrical engineer with a Masters degree in Alternative Energy technology. He is the co-founder of several renewable energy media sites including Solar Thermal Magazine.