Over 10 000 household owners in Lithuania this year can title themselves – prosumers. Adoption of energy independence concept and decentralized generation is finally gaining traction and Lithuanian homeowners increasingly recognize the benefits and find a financial rationale in a decision to have a few photovoltaic panels on the roof or in a remote solar park.
Although the numbers are on a stable growth track there is yet much potential as well as ambition for further expansion. The technology adoption life cycle model suggests that we are still in the “Innovators” adoption phase with just over 0,5% of households being prosumers and “the sky is the limit” for further increase. Also, the ambition set in the National Energy Independence Strategy is 480 000 prosumers in Lithuania by 2030. Focus on subsidies, promotion of decentralized energy shall enable this “explosion”.
It is clear that PV hardware and installations will present a vast business opportunity in the coming years and we will see many companies focusing on it. However, another important role in the private PV ecosystem is set to be an industry which is currently practically non-existent in Lithuania – technical maintenance and utilization of PV hardware. Today due to rapid PV owner expansion major part of PV equipment is still quite new and requires minimal or no maintenance. However, it is unavoidable that in the coming years such services will become increasingly needed. Also, the private PV market outgrowth of the “Innovators” phase and entry to a much larger and less engaged “Early adopters’” audience will call for more customer convenience, customer service and support.
In regard to all the above Ignitis Innovation in collaboration with Inion – Lithuanian solar monitoring and control solutions provider has started a pilot project to better understand the availability and technical feasibility of PV solar plant remote monitoring and maintenance dispatch solutions. By utilizing the solution PV owners have a more convenient access to plant monitoring data in real time and local language and Ignitis gains an oversight of all connected objects in one view/portfolio to remotely track the status of all plant sites, compare generation, detect errors remotely and be able to provide better customer service.
Remote monitoring is an important (and will be increasingly essential) addition to B2C solar installation business not only as it helps customers understand their generation effectiveness, track the financials/payback of PV ownership but also because Ignitis, by accessing and analysing more customer PV performance data can provide a better service, convenience and “peace of mind” for all customers as well as extend customer relationship beyond one-time sale of hardware. Using such system general module, connection or inverter errors can be detected remotely and early, without a need for primary inspection visit, fixed sooner and possibly cheaper. Also, low efficiency of generation due to other reasons can be detected and investigated remotely and improvements offered to customers.
The testing of a solution for private PV monitoring hardware and software will involve up to 20 new Ignitis PV plant owners and is planned to run through summer and autumn up until December 2021.
If you want to know more about Ignitis Innovation and other exciting EnergyTech projects – let’s catch-up – firstname.lastname@example.org or just contact me – Karolis.