Solar Payback Group
 Solar Payback: Three-year Support Project for Solar Process Heat Launched in India

Solar Payback: Three-year Support Project for Solar Process Heat Launched in India

Solar Payback GroupThe Solar Thermal Federation of India (STFI) and the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce (IGCC) have teamed up for the international Solar Payback project, which aims to increase the use of solar thermal energy in industrial processes. The photo shows the partners during the Kick-Off Meeting in Mumbai, India, on 16 December 2016. Supported by the German Federal Environment Ministry funded by the International Climate Initiative (IKI), the three-year project will be implemented in India, South Africa, Mexico and Brazil. It is coordinated by the German Solar Association BSW-Solar and eleven partner organisations: three German companies, plus each target country’s national solar industry association and German chamber of commerce.
Photo: STFI

Facilitators from Germany include research institute Fraunhofer ISE, the German Investment and Development Corporation (DEG) and communications and market research agency solrico. The project will be jointly implemented in India by Pune-based STFI and IGCC with its head office in Mumbai. It was launched in October 2016 and will end in September 2019. The budget for the four countries is EUR 2.96 million.
The use of solar heat for cleaning, steam production, bath heating and surface treatment in manufacturing is still a niche market in India and around the world. “With Solar Payback, we aim to raise awareness about the huge market potential of solar process heat for three reasons: to reduce CO2 emissions, to save energy costs for the investors and to sharpen the competitive edge of local industries,” said Jörg Mayer, Managing Director of BSW-Solar.
India’s industrial companies, which are responsible for 38 % of the country’s total energy consumption, have installed a total of 40,000 m2 of collector area for solar process heat so far. “The saving potential of solar heat technologies in the industry is enormous, and payback times are pleasingly low,” was how STFI Secretary General Jaideep Malaviya described the Indian market. “Solar Payback is likely to increase the confidence of industrial customers to supplement carbon-based fuels.”
Solar Payback focuses on an in-depth analysis of market barriers and drivers by drafting a solar process heat roadmap and making policy recommendations. In addition, it intends to strengthen the industry by offering training for planners and raise awareness by organising an industry conference. The project partners will use a wide range of activities and communication tools to get in touch with the relevant stakeholders in politics, business and financing. Key activity targets include:
  • Drafting a National Solar Process Heat Roadmap
  • Offering training for bankers / investors on financing solar process heat systems
  • Developing a financing/business tool for planners and investors to offer preliminary analyses of solar process heat plants
  • Developing policy recommendations for uptake of solar process heat at national level
  • Organising train-the-trainer workshops on planning / designing solar process heat systems
  • Implementing an online matchmaking network for investors and technology providers
  • Organising a local industry / stakeholder conference
  • Identifying reference cases in manufacturing and conducting a pre-study of three sites, plus detailed monitoring of one site to facilitate installation of a demonstration system
Websites of all companies and institutions mentioned in the article:
For more information, please write to
Solar Thermal Federation of India (STFI), Jaideep Malaviya, Secretary General,
Indo-German Chamber of Commerce (IGCC), Head Office Mumbai, Achim Rodewald, Advisor – Sustainability and Business Responsibility in Industries,
BSW-Solar, Wibke Korf, Project Coordinator,

Baerbel Epp

Bärbel Epp is Founder and Director of the German communication and market research agency solrico and editor-in-chief of