Oct 14
Unlocking Clean Energy
Unlocking Clean Energy
With global players veering towards a China+1 policy, a window of opportunity has opened for India to emerge as a hub for production of renewable energy equipment and hence, India should focus on developing in-house technology in this space.  This was the overwhelming opinion at an engrossing panel discussion hosted at L&T’s corporate office AMN Tower in Mumbai on 12 August.
Titled Energy Transition & Climate Change Developments, the panel discussion was organised by L&T Green (LTG) and noted economist Dr Montek Singh Ahluwalia was the keynote speaker. The session was chaired by Mr Subramanian Sarma (Whole-time Director & Sr EVP – Energy, L&T) and moderated by Mr Derek M Shah (Sr VP and Head – LTG).
In the fight against global warming, much will hinge on new technologies created by the developed nations, the panellists opined. Therefore, Indian companies, should closely monitor such developments  and synchronise their  energy efficiency targets with those.
The participants felt that it would be illogical to expect technology transfers for free. The pricing of technology should, therefore, be transparent. At the same time, Indian players need to shed the mindset of prolonged protection (e.g., a 40% customs duty on import of solar modules), or else India will not be able to emerge as an export hub for renewable energy equipment.
Dr Ahluwalia’s talk was interesting and thought-provoking. In a free-flowing exchange, he said that the world has reached a stage wherein reducing the emission intensity in respect to GDP growth is not enough. Rather, the world needs to reduce greenhouse gas emission and bring down carbon dioxide emissions to zero.
He lauded the Government of India’s target to achieve carbon-neutrality by 2070. However, referring to India’s proclivity in creating rousing slogans, he emphasised that the country should be equally adept at developing expertise in setting targets and policies, as well as implementing programmes to achieve them.
Continuing in the same vein, he added that while 2070 seems like a long way off, in the interim, Indian policymakers need to prioritise their goals and engage in granular planning by setting targets with shorter time horizons.
The country’s target to augment its renewable energy capacity by 2030, making up for 50% of the total energy capacity, is one such target with a clear priority, he said. Although coal will continue to be a source of energy in India for at least a few more decades, no new coal-based thermal plant should be allowed to be set up (barring those already under construction).
The panellists emphasised that it is essential to determine the amount of renewable energy to be generated by the Central government, state governments and the private sector. Inter-state transfer of renewable energy would be necessitated since all state governments are not able to provide land for the purpose.
They deliberated at length on the importance of improving energy efficiency and lowering emissions. According to them, the major cause for inefficient use of energy in India is inefficient pricing. Judicious use of electricity can be ensured only when the user charges are able to recover the cost of production.
And this is possible only when the state governments reform their power distribution system and introduce targeted direct transfer of subsidies to the vulnerable groups, they opined.
It is highly possible for India to achieve Net Zero carbon emission for railways by 2040 and for road transportation by 2050 if the country puts in place the right incentives, the session observed.
Enlightening and invigorating, the session opened up new avenues of thought in the crucial area of the generation and distribution of clean energy.


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 on 10/23/2022 11:03 PM