Abhishek Mane, a Pune resident, started his solar power business with his sister Deepali in 2015, named Deeva Solar Power Solutions. It came with its own manufacturing unit which deals in solar panels and accessories.
He started his career at the defence ministry which he left in 2004 to become an entrepreneur. He spent a long time acquainting himself with solar energy and learning how to install panels and harness energy. He then took a deeper dive to learn solar panel manufacturing from fellow entrepreneurs in the solar industry.
Switch From Electricity to Solar
He then integrated his work with his own life and family when he installed solar panels in his home of 4 adults and a child. This came after a family meeting where everyone was on board with taking an environmentally conscious route and making changes to their electricity use.
He then proceeded with 10 250-watt panels that generate 2.5KW energy a day. These were then linked to the grid and an energy storage battery. Later in 2019 330-watt panels were added which increased energy output to 7KW per day. This is partly used to charge their electric car, a Mahindra e2o, every 3 days.
The transition was slow but certain. They did not make an immediate switch to solar energy but began by consciously cutting down electricity use. They started small like turning off lights in empty rooms, limiting water use and identifying which appliances consumed the most power. The fridge, for example, was switched to a better energy-rate model.
Adjustment to a New Way of Living
Then a smart idea emerged. During the day when the sun was at its brightest, large appliances like washing machines, water pump and kitchen devices would be charged. Then the batteries are left to charge.
After sunset the stored power would be used to charge the family’s 2 electric Okinawa scooters.
Mane explains that since the scooters are used more than the car, they would be prioritised for charging which takes 4 hours to complete.
Thousands of Rupees Saved
The bold decision to change the way his and other homes consumed power paid off big. An electricity bill that would earlier cost them Rs 5,000 a month, was now reduced to a mere Rs 70 a month .
Mane wants to encourage other people who are skeptical about green energy and electric vehicles. He responds to the misconception people have about the range of electric vehicles and says that on a single charge the scooters can travel 100kms.
Here also, whereas in the past he incurred high petrol prices of Rs 98/litre, now he spends a paltry 40 paise a kilometre.
Response to Renewable Energy Skeptics
He likens electric vehicles to a smartphone- both just need to be charged overnight to use the next day.
His company is on a mission to spread awareness of solar energy and its benefits and has already converted 500 homes to be renewable energy-dependent.