Urvish Dave was always fascinated by solar energy. He graduated in electronic engineering in 2009, but kept up to date with the latest developments in the world of solar energy. Ten years later, in October 2019, Urvish, along with Khrushendu Choksi and Raaj Patel, launched the Ahmedabad-based solar energy startup URON Energy.
The clean energy startup, started with an investment of $ 20,000, offers comprehensive solar solutions from concept to commissioning to all types of clients: corporate, residential and government. The founders are to facilitate the Indian National Solar Mission, which aims to achieve 40 GW of rooftop solar power generation capacity by 2022.
Urvish began his career consulting with several companies that were mainly in the solar energy segment. During his interactions with different types of customers, he realized that most of them were not provided with accurate information on how to install, operate and maintain a solar plant.
He felt that the companies that deliver these products and services were only interested in establishing the facility “without much regard for quality and standards.”
As a consultant, Urvish was receiving many offers from companies interested in him executing his solar projects. It was at one of those client meetings that he met his co-founders. A chance meeting with a company interested in establishing a solar plant led to the birth of URON Energy. The company had received quotes ranging from Rs 3.5 million to Rs 5 million and was confused. The contract was signed and the plant was established in the state of Gujarat in 2020.
Things have changed considerably since then. Solar energy has emerged as a key to India’s growing energy needs. The government has already come up with an ambitious renewable energy target of 175 GW by 2022 and 450 GW by 2030; solar will play the main role in this. The increasing popularity of solar energy has also led to a drop in costs. About 10 years ago, the average cost of installing one MW of solar energy was around Rs 17.61 crore; This has been reduced to around Rs 3.2-3.5 crore.
This reveals that there are a lot of players, but Urvish says most of them are doing “the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) job without taking a holistic approach” towards a solar project. URON Energy wants to address this problem. His goal is to be a quality player in the solar energy segment and provide maximum transparency to customers. The solar startup wants to change this status quo.
What URON Energy does
Solar power generation seems very simple from a layman’s perspective: you can see the panels and the inverter that generate power, but it is “much more complex”. “No two sunroof panels will have the same output,” says Urvish. Uron Energy was very clear in the sense that they would not be a mere EPC company and would provide full end-to-end services. This includes project conceptualization, design engineering, implementation, and maintenance.
URON Energy also signs agreements to maintain solar power plants for a couple of years under the concept of construction, ownership, operation and transfer (BOOT). URON Energy also deals with organic photovoltaic panels, which can be customized to any shape. These are very useful in the hotel industry, where these panels can be used as a facade and to generate energy. This solar energy startup also uses waterless cleaning technology for panels by using robots.
The present and the future
URON Energy is currently operating in Gujarat and the National Capital Region (NCR). It has also received some inquiries abroad. You have packed some orders from Australia and Tanzania, but cannot execute these projects due to COVID-19. Urvish says the startup has already posted revenues of close to $ 1 million and hopes to hit $ 2.5 million by the end of 2020. The startup has aggressive plans and aims to reach $ 10 million in revenue over the next two years and expand within India and abroad.