Will push for green energise power equipment demand?

  • Articles
  • Mar 02,23
With favourable government policies and conducive environment, India is gearing up to execute the world's most extensive renewable energy expansion plan. But, will this present a big opportunity for equipment suppliers in the sector? Let’s find out.
Will push for green energise power equipment demand?

India's power generation mix is rapidly shifting towards renewable energy to meet the country’s sustainable development goals while meeting the burgeoning energy requirement of 1.3 billion people. Today, India is the world's third largest producer of renewable energy, with 40 per cent of its installed electricity capacity coming from non-fossil fuel sources.

The global power sector is undergoing transformational changes due to technological innovations and response to climate change protocols. At COP-21 in Paris in 2015, India committed to a 40 per cent share of power generation from non-fossil fuel sources, which was achieved a decade ahead of the 2030 timeline.

Installed capacity of renewable sources of energy in India (as of Sept 2022)

Source

Capacity

Solar

48.55 GW

Wind

40.03 GW

Small hydro

4.83 GW

Large hydro

46.51 GW

Biopower

10.62 GW

Nuclear

6.78 GW

Source: Ministry of New and Renewable Energy


Budget push
Budget FY 23-24 has announced several measures to stimulate the growth of the economy by increasing capital investment outlay by 33.4 per cent to Rs 10 lakh crore for infrastructure. The budget underscores the initiative of setting up a 13 GW transmission system for grid integration, with an investment of Rs 20,700 crores. It further proposes to set up of 100 labs to effectively develop 5G services. "These announcements will help create demand for products in the transmission and distribution (T&D) and telecom sectors, which will be conducive for the growth of relevant companies of these sectors. The budget clearly indicates that the government is committed to propelling infrastructure, engineering and related industries, which will prove to be effective in ensuring the growth of the Indian economy," said Sharan Bansal, Director, Skipper Ltd.


Listing 'green growth' as one of the seven priorities of this year’s budget, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman increased the allocation for the renewable energy sector to Rs 10,222 crore toward - an increase of 48 percent over last year’s allocation of Rs 6,900.68 crore. This allocation comes at a time when India has set a target to have an installed capacity of 500 GW by 2030. The budget 2023 has provided Rs 35,000 crores priority capital investment towards energy transition and net zero objectives and energy security.

"With the FM allocating Rs 35,000 crore towards this sector, prioritising India’s net zero goals and energy transition, this presents players in this space a unique opportunity to make clean energy solutions like solar and electric vehicle (EV) charging both accessible and affordable for the people, unlocking mass consumerisation. This extensive budgetary allocation for the sector coupled with additional production linked incentives for manufacturing high-efficiency solar photovoltaic modules, will lead to significant advances in the country's decarbonisation initiatives," said Raman Bhatia, Founder and Managing Director, Servotech Power Systems Limited.

For the solar power sector including grid, off-grid, and PM-KUSUM projects, the Union budget 2023-24 provided an allocation of Rs 7,327 crore - a rise of 48 per cent over the previous year's Rs 4,979 crore. Pratik Agarwal, Managing Director, Sterlite Power, and Director of Serentica Renewables, commented, “The budget has laid down a promising path for the nation’s green growth, clearly identified as one of the seven pillars, with sizable outlay of Rs 35,000 crore. The Finance Minister has also focused on some of the key issues like battery storage and pumped storage projects to ensure stable and round the clock supplies from renewable resources like solar and wind power.”

Green transition
The FY24 budget appears to usher a phase of 'green transition', guiding the economy toward a sustainable development pathway. "The proposed budget places a strong emphasis on the creation of large-scale green job opportunities to prepare young people for mitigating the effects of climate change. The National Green Hydrogen Mission's outlay of Rs 19,000 crore would also support and contribute to green growth and a net zero carbon future," said Dr Satish Kumar, President & Executive Director, Alliance for an Energy Efficient Economy (AEEE).

The National Hydrogen Mission will support India’s ambition of becoming the world’s first green railways, with a growing fleet of hydrogen-powered passenger trains. "As the world’s first and only hydrogen train manufacturer with passenger service, we are following with great attention Indian Railway’s interest for hydrogen trains in coming years. Alstom would be glad to contribute to the transition to zero-emission solutions in India," opined Olivier Loison, Managing Director, Alstom India.


Growth with decarbonisation strategy
To mitigate environmental issues, the Government of India, at the United Nations Climate Action Summit, announced an ambitious renewable energy target to reach 450 GW by 2030 from 175 GW by 2022. When it comes to renewable energy, Karnataka has emerged at the top of the 16 states in the country that account for 90 per cent of the country's annual power requirement, a study by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA). Karnataka is one of the few states which surpassed its renewable energy targets set for the end of 2022 (14.82 GW) with an installed capacity of 16 GW as of September 2022.

"New sub-stations of 750/400/220 kV are required to achieve transmission of 450 GW power across India. Our entire range of equipments from 11 Kv to 400 kV are required for the sub-stations as such demand for new equipments as well as retro fitting will increase multi fold," said Anil Saboo, Chairman & MD, Elektrolites Power Pvt Ltd.

To make the transition to produce 450 GW of renewable energy by 2030, India will need to invest in advanced technologies to make smart grids. This will provide opportunities for SMEs as well. "Industry needs to think of innovative business models to keep up the pace of modernisation through smart grid technologies. Elektrolites is planning to increase exports to more than 40 countries as we introduce innovative new smart grid products like fault passage indicator, auto-recloser and LLPD upto 66 kV," said Anil Saboo.

Green transport
For green growth as envisaged in the budget, renewable energy, in addition to its utility in the electricity sector, will have to be used wisely for other purposes like heating, cooling and transport. The government has been aggressively promoting sale of electric vehicle to cut down emission and reduce import bill. However, if energy required to power these EVs is generated from fossil fuel, the green purpose will be lost. As an answer to this, Delta Electronics has launched a smart microgrid-based Green EV charging station. The station is a total solution integrating Delta’s EV chargers, energy storage systems, PV inverters and EV charging infrastructure management system to enable microgrids capable of providing clean electricity to EVs while helping to stabilise the grid of the EV charging infrastructure. "The Green EV charging station will help facilitate India’s e-mobility transition even further," said Niranjan Nayak, Managing Director, Delta Electronics India.

Increase in renewable energy usage will also propel innovation. "Growing renewable sector provides us big opportunity as all renewable power sources will use our systems. In renewables, protection become very critical as energy is generated in DC and then converted into AC for usage. You need specialised devices for protection of DC power. As green energy sources increase their contribution to India's energy basket, there will be an evolution of products required for renewables. Hence, our R&D team continuously works on new products and solution to fulfill India's evolving demand," said Kiran Dutt, President – Electrification, ABB India.

India is one of the fastest growing countries in the solar energy sector. With favourable government policies and a conducive environment, India is gearing up to execute the world's most extensive renewable energy expansion plan. Shashi Amin, CEO, Cables Solutions, APAR Industries Ltd, opined, "In a solar plant, cables play a pivotal role in interconnecting solar modules, combiner boxes, inverters, and other electrical components to take the generated power to the grid. In the last decade, India witnessed a sharp increase in demand for and technological advancement of modules, structures, inverters, and copper cables. But in this metamorphosis, the copper cables could not meet a few critical challenges besides ensuring lower transmission losses. Witnessing these needs, APAR Industries developed and launched a special photovoltaic (PV) solar cable that sustains the surge and other harmonic transitions during electrical power transmission. These surges occur at all levels between applications, like PV modules, inverters, inverters to end power distribution grids, etc."

The change geopolitical environment and Indian industry’s growing global stature provide a good opportunity for domestic manufacturers of renewable energy equipment to supply not just to local market but also global customers.

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