A Strategic Approach to Identifying Early Adopter Markets in India

In their article, “Off-Grid Energy in India: Identifying Early Adopter Markets,” Sanjoy Sanyal and Pamli Deka outline a strategic approach based on market analysis to identify areas of India that have the most potential to become early adopters of off-grid or microgrid energy systems. “Geoffrey Moore, in his book Crossing the Chasm, identified the need for [such] markets. The challenge for clean energy enterprises is to find a manageable subset of India’s potential early adopter markets. It is by no means an easy challenge, but the parameters that we propose could be an improvement over existing approaches.”

Sanyal and Deka evaluate regions with high un-electrification rates based on  a few key criteria:

  • Access to finance
  • Relative economic buoyancy
  • Sluggish grid growth

They explain that “[a]ccess to bank finance is critical as most solar home system (SHS) companies use bank loans to finance consumer purchases. The grid expansion rate is important, as the reluctance to invest in DRE products is related to the risk associated with the redundancy of these products once the grid comes in.”

By applying these criteria, they narrowed the scope of off-grid markets with the most potential from 321 districts  to 80. “The battle for clean, distributed energy will be won or lost in these 80 districts or micro-markets, with each presenting enough opportunities and challenges for a given enterprise.”

Target District Identification

The report is available at the New Ventures India web site.