Renewable Energy

Decarbonisation has become one of the most primary objectives for governments world over in the last decade. That, the shift to renewable energy sources is an urgent action required on a global scale is not unknown however, the pace at which this shift is necessitated to keep the threat from Climate Change in check, is what has got the economies of the world looking out for innovative solutions. Add to that the constant change in energy production and consumption patterns has further increased the complexity of the entire situation.

While most economies today have been proactive with their policy initiatives to meet their commitments to the Paris Agreement, there lies a concerning gap between the technological needs of these countries and their prevalent capabilities to effectively implement these policy initiatives. Which brings into focus, the need for countries to collaborate at a global level for them to be able to mutually benefit from the relevant expertise of one another.

International Energy Alliance (IEA), a Paris-based autonomous intergovernmental organization, is one such body which has been consistent in its efforts to bring countries together to collaborate and catalyze the shift to cleaner forms of energy. With an aim to reach net zero by 2050, the organization has been helping countries with its analysis to help shape their policies in the intended direction.

The IEA, in collaboration with AGNIi (Accelerating Growth of New India’s innovations), recently conducted a working level dialogue between emerging and developing economies on commercialization of clean energy innovations. The participating countries succinctly brought out their individual energy priorities, limitations, capabilities, breakthrough innovations and probable use cases to look out for possible collaborative opportunities for mutual benefit of the countries.

While the countries look out for innovative solutions across sectors ranging from the more conventional forms of renewable energy like Solar and Wind to the relatively more recent sectors of Waste to Wealth and Green Hydrogen, the stage seems set for the Indian innovators who have been consistently drawing attention globally for their breakthrough innovations across sectors.

The Indian energy start-ups ecosystem is the 4th largest in the world featuring 183 start-ups during the period 2016-20. The focus on clean energy is also evident from the fact that 2 out of the top 10 Indian B2B start-ups (by funding), during the period 2015-20 are from the clean energy sector, namely ReNew Power and Azure power.

The Indian innovators have developed breakthrough solutions which focus on various global needs such as increasing the efficiency of prevailing solar systems, decentralizing wind energy, improving energy efficiency through energy management and tracking systems, scaling air pollution monitoring systems, generating biofuel from waste, effective energy storage, electric conversion kits for vehicles, etc. These innovations have managed to garner substantial global interest, not only because they cater to the growing global requirements but are also scalable and affordable making them favorites for the purpose of adaptation and implementation.

These innovations have further been fueled by Indian governments initiatives like allocating $1.3 billion for setting up 50 solar parks; planning green energy corridors of 12600 km; announcing PLI schemes worth INR 4500 crores under Atmanirbhar Bharat 3.0, to name a few. Such initiatives have clearly indicated to the Indian innovators, the government’s intentions towards honoring its commitment to increase share of non-fossil fuel-based energy to 40% by 2030, and has provided adequate impetus to the Indian innovators to look at commercialization of their technologies.

To further boost the innovation ecosystem in the country, The Prime Minister’s Science, Technology, Innovation and Advisory council (PM-STIAC) formulated AGNIi as part of its nine technology missions during the period 2018-19. AGNIi was launched by the Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India, with an aim to connect innovators across industries, individuals and the grassroots to the market and help commercialize innovative solutions.

AGNIi, which is executed at Invest India, India's National Investment Promotion Agency, helps convene India's finest technologists and their deployment-ready technologies – from start-ups and laboratories – with top technology users from Indian and global enterprise, government, and non-profit sector. AGNIi manages to effectively bridge the gap between industry and academia and also supports and augments initiatives undertaken by multiple stakeholders to drive India’s Innovation goals.

The above policy initiatives of government along with the support from agencies like the IEA and AGNIi have managed to put the Indian start-ups on the center stage, perfectly poised to be able to take their innovations global and propel India’s status as one of the leaders in renewable energy sector.

This blog has been co-authored by Krish Chawla (intern). 

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