Why I do what I do…

Imagine this.

You come home to a building that is completely disconnected from the main grid. Has a self sufficient solar rooftop system that generates and transmits power and data to all your smart appliances via BPL fibre optic cable lines in your walls. While these ‘genmitter solar plants’ on your and your neighbour’s rooftop communicate between themselves through Li-Fi and transmit power over PoWifi , you , the user, are communicating to the internet with a 224GBps Li-Fi connection inside every single LED in your home and then to your smart rooftop solar power/data genmitter plant, which communicate between themselves across the whole city , which in turn talks to a deeply knowledgeable power/ data network which understands who needs how much power at what time of the day in which part of the year , across every single node in the whole wide world. This enables it to transmit, store , augment from other sources – from that part of the world which is power surplus to that which needs the demand fulfilled – thereby creating a seamless international energy exchange. All using the sun, silicon, light and lithium.

Meanwhile, you just came home from work – oblivious to the years of human creativity to have gone into creating such a world from the world that we live in now and you proceed to park your electric car to in your garage where it regularly gets its wireless charge session from your Li-Ion basement. 

Tell me. If you saw this world in your mind’s eye every single day, wouldn’t you want to show your fellow man the marvel of this reality, when it comes to life. That’s why I do what I do.

The day is not far and the future is not crowded in a distant darkness. The future is bright. Literally and figuratively.

Posted in solartown | Leave a comment

The people over process over the product 

For any goal , determine the timeline and the fundamental unit ( prospects, prototypes, candidates etc ) and the probability of unit to product. then work on the number of units to act on in tranches so that each of these successive tranches will have better actions and thereby increasing your probability to convert into product. 
Example : in product development, you have one year to get the first version out, the probability of iterations ( units ) to market ready version might be 40:1 . So you need to figure out a timeline and a set of actions everyday that will enable you to come out with 40 units within a year and automatically you wil have a market ready version. 
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The hero’s journey

For when a heart insists on its destiny, resisting the general blandishment, then the agony is great; so too the danger. Forces, however, will have been set in motion beyond the reckoning of the senses. Sequences of events from the corners of the world will draw gradually together, and miracles of coincidence bring the inevitable to pass. The talismanic ring from the soul’s encounter with its other portion in the place of recollectedness betokens…a conviction of the waking mind that the reality of the deep is not belied by that of common day. This is the sign of the hero’s requirement, now, to knit together his two worlds.

The remainder…is a history of the slow yet wonderful operation of a destiny that has been summoned into life. Not everyone has a destiny: only the hero who has plunged to touch it, and has come up again — with a ring.”

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

How to become an expert?

To have integrity, you must have expertise. True expertise results from the drive to fix yourself – your flaw, and your obsession with it. You become an expert on fixing yourself. The itch drives expertise. The itch drives curiosity. The itch drives learning and doing. This is what makes an expert – not an “expert” in the sense that everyone’s an expert these days. The itch drives mastery.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The curious case of the 60 GW utility solar, REIT trusts and the arbitrage

Peculiarly, India is on the cusp on creating a demand supply distortion in the value chain of real estate and solar.

While in solar, we have actually shot ourselves in the foot by proposing extra-ordinary amounts of will backed by little to no action and thus lost credibility ; we have also turned around and proposed REITs and trust vehicles.

What’s more? The trust vehicles REITs proposed in the current structure are promoted to be operated by the developers themselves- in this case, it could even be the solar developers if they buy and build on the land, which I doubt they will because that is a distraction.

This infact will create an incentive for the solar developers, executives and officials to buy low cost land ( which becomes increasingly high cost over the course of execution of this 60 GW ) and gather them in a REIT structure , where they shall route their own ‘leasing revenue’ from the power plants and SPVs( which can also be an solar asset yieldco) back into their “REITs”.

If and when, the 60 GW target starts coming to fruition, we can infact see a partnership between two disparate entities – the REITs ( the UNITECH, THe Embassy Group, DLF etc ) and the Solar Yield-cos ( TERRAFORM and the likes )

Interesting times ahead for Indian solar and Real estate sectors for the next two decades.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What a distributed utility should look like

Too many people look at what we are doing, at Solartown , and assume we are building a solar rooftop EPC company. I am compelled to laugh a little bit at that generalisation.

We have no interest in building a business to make us of a trend in order to just make money. We have every bit of interest , though, to make use of a trend to bring a vision to reality that in turn will benefit mankind enormously.

As I take more and more action in my life, I am compelled to believe that the only cause worth pursuing and therefore by definition, the only action worth pursuing is to help your fellow man.

So performing action with the motive of helping mankind evolve and become better and not be consumed by the consequences of those activities , is our chief motive.

And helping mankind can be done in two or three ways :

a. Help a fellow suffering human’s basic needs – food, water, clothes, energy and shelter  by either

  1. providing him with novel ways of those needs ( creation of new supply )
  2. enabling access to existing sources (increasing efficiency of distribution of existing supply)

b. Help an evolved human (who has the basic needs ) with his higher needs- self esteem , community and self respect ( need for recognition, love and intimacy )

c. solving grave issues or threats that could eliminate humanity as a species ( example : cosmic collision, nuclear war, global warming to such great levels)

d. helping mankind become a much much more powerful and resilient species ( increasing life span, eradicating threats, bio tech, nano tech and cyborgs , AI )

In my philosophy, there is only this fruitful motive to perform actions- to help your fellow man and thereby help mankind become better. Everything else is for pure sensory pleasure which will tire you sooner or later – without that core value or purpose governing your life.

That being said, why are we building SolarTown , if not for money? 
Money is an ultra crucial part of a life well lived.
I am not talking about hoarding money. Once it has covered your basic and higher needs – money can be fruitfully deployed to help others achieve a. and b. or help mankind achieve c. and d.

Every bit of SolarTown does is aimed towards achieving a huge part of c. and a substantial part of a.

What we might do in years 1 to 5 – looks like that we are building a solar rooftop EPC company or rather  – a solar rooftop IPP  but if you see what really drives us is a grand vision for the next 50 to 60 years filled with cutting edge innovation.

Imagine a world, where every man-made surface ( roads, bricks, rooftops , buildings)  that looks at the sun generate electricity , transmits it wirelessly to the ground made of storage ( Lithium ion or vanadium flow) , transmits back to the loads wirelessly, uses a wireless smart mini grid to communicate with all that PV in the surrounding blocks and distributes excess energy to the EVs in each of our homes and offices.

( Note: am not talking about Space based solar ( whose economics don’t work yet) or mini nuclear fusion and fission reactors in this post yet – the dynamics of whom will affect the rest of the power industry significantly including storage and rooftop solar and BIPV )

To put this in perspective as to how beautiful this would be, we only need o.5% of India’s surface at current PV efficiencies to pull of the entire demand with storage. This in turn, would make the grid obsolete for all smaller residential and commercial communities.

Just this has the potential to rid the world of the grave energy and global warming threats leading to impact in the direction of a. and c. , mentioned above.

This is what really drives us. To fundamentally change how humanity generates and consumes energy. And all profits are funelled to achieve that end for mankind.

Solar Singularity

How do we get there?

No masterpiece or monumental systemic change was done overnight. We need to chip away at reality decades together in order for such change to happen.

Even though the timelines and milestones are obscure now for such a grand wireless clean energy vision to come to reality, we will go one step at a time and will not stop until it comes to reality , creating the new foundation of how humanity creates, transmits, distributes and consumes energy,

But step 1 is to get to a scale where we are deploying at the least of 10s of GW per year across the globe.

Simultaneous steps would be the pervasive presence of Li-ion, Electric Vehicles and smart grid tech across the world for managing mini grids.

Such scale and Li-ion or vanadium flow strength would help us look at drastically lowering the $/Kwh delivered to loads of a household to less than 10c / Kwh and when you add wireless charging and discharging from PV on the rooftop, the scale and the tech should become viable for most commercial establishments.

From then on, it is a matter of scale driving it down to make it viable for the residential and commercial establishments.

What about large commercial and large industrial power independent of grid power, you ask?  Different post for a different day – my friend.

Posted in distributed generation, solartown | Tagged , | 2 Comments

A blueprint for conquering a fragment localised market 

Take any sample market .

Any one . Where there are a lot of players but each catering to a local maxima ( in a specific locality ) with varying gross profits and operating as warlords in their own scale.

Comes to mind : grocery shops, barber shops , gyms , service providers of telecom and cable and in some non govt. regulated markets – the utility or the power business.

If you identify such a market , it is ripe for consolidation . Don’t go about creating a marketplace where there is a scope for standardisation. Because standardisation and consolidation yikes a better control over the ultimate downstream demand than a market place would.

Let me illustrate : flipkart started out as a consolidator And leveraged the consolidators brand to create a market place.

Airbnb started out right off the gate with a market place model . It worked.

Amazon started out as the consolidator while later becoming a market place ( ofcourse flipkart emulated this ) while Alibaba went the airbnb or the eBay way .

I believe it is easier to confuse which strategy is the optimum one to go forward with , when faced with a fragmented market . To consolidate or to enable a market place which drives the marginal cost downward ?

A simple rule of thumb : if the accompanying infrastructure already exists and works seamlessly (finance,logistics, payments, etc ) , do the market place . Else the market place won’t work .

Infrastructure here maybe : Internet penetration , transportation infra , Financing capability, Payment or credit card penetration.
This requires creating the infra and then spinning or selling it out once the infra and the eco system develops. Hence the consolidator does everything , slowly spinning out the infra and in the end becoming a market place.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment