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Wednesday, 21 Jul 2021
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CII organises second edition of Digital Conference and Exhibition on Self Reliance for Renewable Energy Manufacturing

Solar
 
The Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) along with the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy organised the 2nd edition of Digital Conference and Exhibition on Self-Reliance for Renewable Energy Manufacturing on 15 and 16 July 2021. 
 
Renewable energy is expected to generate business worth USD 20 billion a year over the next decade in India, which is one of the top foreign direct investment (FDI) destinations in the world. With unprecedented improvements in ease of doing business, global innovation rankings focus and commitment to intellectual property rights, combined with affordable labour and long-term market visibility, India is emerging as the ideal manufacturing destination globally. The government can help accelerate the growth of renewable manufacturing in 2021 and beyond by ensuring a stable and investor-friendly policy framework, followed both at the Centre and state levels.
 
The session focussed on discussing policy, regulatory framework, fiscal support and guaranteed offtake required to scale up manufacturing in the sector and also ways in the renewable energy sector to become competitive and self-reliant.
 
Decentralised Renewable Energy (DRE) - powered livelihood solutions have potential to reduce and eventually eliminate reliance of livelihoods on diesel and can supplement the grid supply. There are successful pilots and business models of DRE livelihood applications in agriculture, agro-processing, dairy, poultry, fisheries, tailoring, etc which have been tested at field level by various agencies and have the potential to be replicated in larger quantities. However, this is still only a small fraction of the overall spectrum of livelihood activities throughout India. The promotion of DRE livelihoods applications becomes even more relevant because of their potential to create sustainable jobs.
 
The conference deliberated on ways in which the currently available DRE livelihood applications could be scaled up, the support needed from the government and various ministries, enable a market-oriented ecosystem to attract the private sector for development and deployment of DRE-based livelihood applications along with easy access to finance.
 
The conference highlighted the role of inter-dependence of wind-solar hybrid projects. Hybrid Energy is one of the most promising solutions for meeting future energy requirements due to its more stable and reliable power generation curve. Hybridisation of solar and wind energy complement each other in meeting the demand by addressing intra-day and seasonal variation in terms of generation, hence resulting in higher availability and higher PLF.
 
Wind energy, with its generation peak closely matching with the demand peak, when combined with solar, offers a greener alternative to the conventional sources like coal and fossil fuels and drives towards sustainability. Hybrid also solves the problem of load fluctuation in the grid by compensating for the sudden drop in solar generation during evening with simultaneous increase in the wind generation, hence improving the health of the grid and decreasing maintenance expenditure. With technological advancements in the industry, the cost of establishing a hybrid project is expected to decrease further.
 
This will boost the growth of the entire industrial sector, especially MSME players and help to build a truly Aatmanirbhar Bharat.
 
The conference also highlighted the role of ethanol in making India Aatmanirbhar. India has preponed the target of achieving 20 percent ethanol-blending with petrol by five years to 2025 as it looks to cut dependence on costly oil imports and becoming energy secure. India is 83 percent dependent on imports for meeting its oil needs. Doping petrol with ethanol will cut down the import requirement. Also, ethanol being less polluting fuel, it will cut down carbon emissions. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had in March 2015 set a target of lowering import dependence in oil by 10 percentage points to 67 percent by 2022, when the country will celebrate 75 years of Independence. To meet such an ambitious target, ethanol holds the key. 
 
The Union Cabinet has launched a scheme in which the government has decided to allow ethanol-based ‘flex engines’ which power vehicles using local farm produce and not fossil fuels. The scheme will be formally launched in next three months.
 
The parallel session 2a discussed about making India the global export service hub. India with its skilled labour and a large number of technically skilled people is all set to provide service of maintenance to globally operating renewable energy plants. This is a great opportunity for the country to utilise its manpower to make India the global export service hub.
 
The parallel session 3a highlighted the prospects of Make in India – Make for the World, how to make India globally competitive. The wind energy sector of India is not only indigenised, but the country houses major international giants who Make in India and use their Indian capacities for exports. It is especially important to learn from challenges and opportunities that the wind sector created for itself to become globally competitive. The session focussed at ways by which the sector can play an important role in bringing in 24x7 RE power for the country, make India a globally competitive destination for manufacturing and roadmap for building a robust RE manufacturing sector with a focus on Make in India.
 
Renewable energy is playing a vital role in greening the economy, while restructuring of employment will continue due to global transition to low carbon economy. The Indian government’s international commitments for fighting against climate change and declared target capacity addition of 175GW of renewable energy (RE) has significantly changed contours of the power sector including demand for skilled and qualified manpower. There is also a pressing need for trained professionals to teach RE courses, design and implement efficient policies and accurately assess renewable energy project proposals.
 
This session addressed the sector specific skill gaps and strategies to create jobs and entrepreneurship opportunities to promote skilled youth to take care of growing needs of renewable energy.
 
The country session of the conference focussed on Indo-French perspective on green hydrogen. India and France have a long history of successful partnerships, and, in the past decade, renewable energy has emerged as a core area of bilateral cooperation. The latter has witnessed many successes. At the political level, India and France launched the International Solar Alliance in 2015 during COP21 and on the operational front; French companies have commissioned or are in the process of developing solar projects.
 
India and France also recognise the potential of green hydrogen as a vector for decarbonisation in several areas of the economy, such as industry or mobility. Green hydrogen could also contribute to increasing electrical grid stability. In fact, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the launch of India’s National Hydrogen Mission in November 2020. Similarly, France published a national strategy for development of low-carbon hydrogen in September 2020, with a dedicated budget of more than EUR seven billion to be spent over the next decade. This includes EUR two billion to be used before 2022 under the economic recovery plan.
 
The country aimed to deepen Indo-French cooperation on green hydrogen by building on the success of the existing political and economic cooperation between India and France in the domain of renewable energy.
 
India’s climate commitments require a significant infusion of capital. Critical and long-term investments are required to upgrade the existing energy systems, retrofit the existing carbon intensive infrastructure, and develop new low-carbon infrastructure. The scale of financing needed to realise the aspirational goal of transitioning to clean energy requires the infusion of significant finance at more attractive terms and therefore, calls for concerted efforts of stakeholders and supportive policy framework that must address the investment risks perceived by financiers and developers. 
 
India’s Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha Evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan (PM-KUSUM), a flagship scheme of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) is a transformational initiative and offers Central financial to the tune of Rs 34,222 crore with a target installation of 30.5 GW. KUSUM aims to expand the energy access to marginal farmers, energy independence for grid connected agricultural consumer and provide an additional source of income to farmers.
 
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