Economy, Business And Markets

Investment Opportunity: Solar Irrigation System

Investment Opportunity: Solar Irrigation SystemInvestment Opportunity: Solar Irrigation System

Solar energy is the most abundant source of energy in the world, which is not only an answer to today’s energy crisis but also an environmentally friendly form of energy.

Solar panels, containing an array of photovoltaic cells, are extensively used for lighting streets, powering water heaters and sharing the domestic electrical load.

One of the application of this technology is in irrigation systems. In these systems, the electricity needed for irrigation controllers is supplied by solar energy. These irrigation controllers have built-in water saving features, including a sensor, to adjust to the optimal sprinkler runtime based on the local weather conditions. They also measure the water content in soil.

“Since agriculture is a major user of ground and surface water, the solar-powered irrigation system can be a viable option for the country’s agriculture as it faces a water crisis,” says Rahim Kamali, an expert on solar industries.

“Currently, only five manufacturers of smart solar irrigation systems are active in the country; each of them setting up 15 to 20 systems on a yearly basis. These smart systems are now used in Tehran, Alborz, Khorasan Razavi, Isfahan, Kerman and Semnan provinces,” the Persian daily Forsat-e Emrooz quoted him as saying.

“Around 10% of the raw materials needed to build these system are available in the country whereas the rest is imported from China and Taiwan. The cost of installation varies from $150 to $2,000 depending on the system’s equipment and efficiency,” he said.

On the capital needed to set up a factory for producing smart solar irrigation systems, Kamali said an initial investment of $28,500 is needed, which requires an 18-month to two-year payback period.

“Iran has no export of smart solar irrigation system, but the neighboring countries are willing to have our products. However, domestic manufacturers fail to take up the risk of exports due to the unpredictability of weather in these countries,” he said.

Pouya Banizamani, who is a producer of these systems, said those who wish to venture into this business must remember to allocate a part of the investment to advertisement, information dissemination and designing working models.

“A constant sense of competition exists among farmers. Once you set up a smart solar irrigation system in a region, you can expect 20 more orders to follow. So take advantage of the power of advertisement,” he said.