Roadmap 2021: Driving towards cleantech and e-mobility
India has observed surprising triumphs in its recent energy development. The government of India had set an ambitious target of installing 175 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2022, which has been increased to 450 GW by 2030, as committed by the Prime Minister in the UN Climate Action summit.
The overall share of RE (including large hydro projects) in the country's installed power capacity mix stood at 138.27 GW, with a total share of 36.7 percent at the end of 2020, as per data from the Central Energy Authority (CEA), the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE).
The 2021-22 Budget tabled in the Parliament by the Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman allotted ₹220 billion (~$3.08 billion) for the development of the power and renewable sector.
India has huge plans for the emerging electric vehicles and their technologies in the country. The country has great expectations of achieving a high level of penetration in e-mobility by 2030. EVs in India have opened gates to significant business opportunities for automobile companies within the country and globally.
The EV market is expected to be a ₹50,000 crore opportunity in India by 2025, and it is projected to drive higher electrification of the vehicles in the medium term in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Emerging Technology News (ETN), powered by the India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA) hosted the 'Roadmap 2021: Driving towards cleantech and e-mobility' conference on January 27, 2021, to discuss and learn more about the industry growth plans for the current year, and also brainstorm over the appropriate pathway to accomplish the ambitious goals this year in the august presence of H.E Upendra Tripathy, Director General - International Solar Alliance, Dr. Rahul Walawalkar, President - IESA, Nishant Arya, Executive Director - JBM Group, and Tobias Winter, Director - Indo-German Energy Forum.
Speaking at the conference, H.E Upendra Tripathy shared his views on the sector outlook for the year 2021. He expressed, that the prospects looked good for ISA and that it was optimistic about developments taking place.
"For the seven programs that we had, we sent a different mission team to different member countries to deliberate on how this technology can be implemented in the year 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 was a difficult year, but we are optimistic about 2021 being a good year. The way the cost of solar is coming down it is heartening to see how solar energy is making inroads and looking at the sun as a promising source of clean power generation. The cost would stay the same for the next 30 years.
"Today, technology has helped harness the sunlight to an optimal level and make the most of the abundantly available natural heat and light. Next year will only attract more investment in solar and renewables as the COVID-19 curve flattens globally. The capital infusion, the declining cost will help to make 2022 a business-friendly year.
"We are talking about 'One World One Sun One Grid' (OSOWOG) on a large scale, we are trying to utilize every accessible latitude and longitude. We are also trying to employ and exploit the best of the technology and it will be a new driving-idea for 2022. We seek inclusive human growth in the 21st century and World Solar Bank aims to be a facilitating agency for the same. Demand aggregation in different solar applications is of top importance as well as market development for easy-access.
Accentuating upon the need for adoption of new technologies, robust policy framework, and substantial sector transformation, Dr. Rahul Walawalkar said that "I look at 2021 as the year of adoption of new technologies and govt. framework. To a large extent, the industry leaders are showing keen interest in taking the lead in implementing the same. The next 12-18 months is crucial for adoption as the prices fall. At IESA, we are happy with global financial institutions that are pooling in funds for financing of stationary storage and e-mobility in India. While the market is signaling positively, we need to look at the complete supply chain."
"This is a great opportunity for developing the local supply value chain. We need to start focusing on the adoption on an accelerated scale. One of the key missing blocks is financing, as financial institutions are yet to kick-start the same. The scale at which projects are happening in India is less attractive and they need to be revamped and fast-tracked. Just like the telecom transformation that took the industry by storm same has to be replicated in the stationary storage and e-mobility sector."
Emphasizing the emergence of e-mobility in the country and the critical role of battery technology, Nishant Arya said that, "We have come to realize that it's each one's responsibility to ensure a sustainable world around us, which took a pandemic to make us understand the same. E-mobility has been a way of life for some years now as the world takes cognizance of how important it is to maintain sustainability for the future. Today, with various parameters diversely benefitting the sector, we at JBM are committed to being Aatmanirbhar (self-reliant) and make indigenous manufacturing a major industry in the country."
"With the right foundation and high investment, there is a need for specific and upgraded skill development, which will give a good fillip in moving forward. It is important to educate customers for the benefit of going green and switching to EVs, and as a country how well-equipped we are to transition to sustainable transportation. The ambitious RE target combined with striving e-mobility ambition can be a game-changer for the industry as well as ancillary service providers. It is important to understand that the way we are moving ahead, the battery will play a critical role in the imminent future and the chemistry-agnostic structure will prove to be critical."
In recent years, India has developed into a lucrative business destination for global conglomerates to venture into the RE and e-mobility sector. Expounding on the lines of this sentiment, Tobias Winter said that "The renewables and e-mobility companies have done exceedingly well over the years and that is visible with the growth in adoption globally and India. I have been excited about the energy transition in India for a long time. The availability of sun throughout the year and generation of solar energy coupled with advanced energy storage has been quite amazing. We are optimistic that India is actually on its way to surpassing Germany in renewable power generation, and achieving the Paris Agreement commitment well before the promised period."
"We see a lot of discussion in India on battery storage development. Companies like Tesla are investing in Germany for developing battery storage as well. One thing that will generate demand is to understand that renewables are capable of delivering a 24x7 power supply and upkeep the government's vision. In Germany, the electricity market is quite unregulated. The deregulation of the market is quite necessary and it will happen over a while."