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A Hitachi Ltd. subsidiary plans to offer rooftop solar power solutions, exclusively targeting more than 400 India-based Japanese firms amid growing corporate use of the sun’s energy in the South Asian country, according to company officials.

Hitachi High-Technologies Corp., which teamed up with India’s leading rooftop solar solution provider CleanMax Solar in May to tap emerging business opportunities in the sector, will initially target around 100 Japanese companies by 2020 to offer such solutions, the officials said.

“We have zeroed in on over 400 Japanese firms, mostly from the manufacturing sector, which are likely to go for rooftop solutions to run their factories as solar energy is becoming affordable in the country,” said Ryo Kobayashi, electronic components and material department manager at Hitachi High-Technologies, based in Tokyo.

“Our plan is to achieve a 50-megawatt rooftop solar target by 2018, which means targeting around 50 Japanese firms with 1 MW of capacity each, and further achieve 100 MW by 2020,” he added.

The partnership with CleanMax leverages the existing Japanese customer base built by various Hitachi group companies over the years to help expand its rooftop solar business in India, according to Hitachi High-Technologies.

“We have already initiated talks with some Japanese companies looking for rooftop solar solutions in the country,” said another company official.

Hitachi High-Technologies is also planning to offer low-cost financing to CleanMax to further strengthen the partnership and expand its business. “We are still discussing it,” Kobayashi said.

According to renewable energy consultancy firm Bridge to India, the rooftop solar market in India has grown at a compounded annual growth rate of around 98 percent in the last four years.

Its latest report on the sector shows that the country added 678 MW of rooftop solar capacity in the fiscal year ended last March, growing 81 percent year-on-year and boosting the country’s total installed rooftop solar capacity to 1.4 gigawatts as of March.

The growth is being primarily driven by an improvement in price competitiveness of rooftop solar power vis-a-vis grid power, the consultancy firm said.

“Strong market fundamentals, including falling costs and improving debt financing, mean that the market will continue with a strong growth trajectory for many years to come,” the report said.

Commercial and industrial customers are driving demand for rooftop solar power in the country, according to the report. “With 65 percent of total installed capacity, the commercial and industrial customers remain the biggest market segment.”

The report’s market outlook estimates additional yearly rooftop solar capacity in the country scaling up to over 2 GW by 2019 and over 3 GW by 2020.

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