Diversifying Renewable Energy in India: Opportunities in Biomass, Biofuels, and Solar Thermal - India Renewable Energy Consulting – Solar, Biomass, Wind, Cleantech
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India has made significant strides in renewable energy in recent years, particularly in solar photovoltaic (PV) and wind sectors. However, a vast potential in other renewable energy sectors like biomass, biofuels, and solar thermal remains largely untapped. The panel discussion shed light on the challenges and opportunities in these sectors, providing valuable insights into their future path.

Narasimhan Santhanam, Director, EAI was the moderator for the panel discussion.

The Panel Participants were:

Suhas BaxiBiofuel Circle

Radhika Choudary – Freyr Energy

Vishal PandyaREConnect Energy

Rahul Tholath MathewIllumine-i

Pramodh Panchanadam – AP Consulting AV

Here are the highlights and takeaways.

Backgrounds and Experiences:

  • Panelists shared their professional backgrounds, including experience in working with renewable energy companies, advisory services, and technology solutions.
  • They discussed their involvement in various sectors within the renewable energy industry, such as distributed solar, biomass, biofuels, and energy markets.

Challenges and Opportunities in Non-Solar Sectors:

  • Despite the success of solar PV and wind energy in India, other sectors like biomass and biofuels have not experienced significant growth.
  • Participants highlighted challenges such as limited policy support, inadequate infrastructure, and market constraints in these sectors.
  • They emphasized the enormous potential of biomass and biofuels, especially in addressing energy needs and decarbonization goals.

Policy Support and Market Dynamics:

  • The importance of policy frameworks in driving renewable energy adoption was underscored, with examples from international markets like the US.
  • Participants discussed how policy initiatives, such as tax credits and incentives, have spurred growth in the solar sector abroad.
  • They emphasized the need for transparent policies, decentralized decision-making, and effective implementation to foster growth in non-solar sectors in India.

Lessons from Other Industries:

  • Analogies were drawn between the renewable energy sector and other successful initiatives, such as India’s milk revolution, to highlight the importance of grassroots participation and local economic development.
  • Panelists explored the potential for decentralized energy solutions, such as localized biogas plants, to address logistical challenges and promote community engagement.

Economic Considerations and Innovation:

  • Cost competitiveness emerged as a crucial factor in driving renewable energy adoption, with participants stressing the need to reduce investment barriers and demonstrate long-term economic benefits.
  • They discussed innovations in financing models, production guarantees, and service reliability as key drivers of growth in the renewable energy sector.

Future Directions and Collaborative Efforts:

  • The panel members expressed optimism about the future of renewable energy in India, highlighting the evolving policy landscape, increasing investor interest, and growing consumer awareness.
  • They emphasized the importance of collaboration among stakeholders, including policymakers, industry players, and technology providers, to overcome challenges and unlock the full potential of non-solar renewable energy sectors.

Overall, the discussion provided valuable insights into the opportunities and challenges facing non-solar renewable energy sectors in India and underscored the importance of holistic approaches, policy support, and innovation to drive sustainable growth.

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About Narasimhan Santhanam (Narsi)

Narsi, a Director at EAI, Co-founded one of India's first climate tech consulting firm in 2008.

Since then, he has assisted over 250 Indian and International firms, across many climate tech domain Solar, Bio-energy, Green hydrogen, E-Mobility, Green Chemicals.

Narsi works closely with senior and top management corporates and helps then devise strategy and go-to-market plans to benefit from the fast growing Indian Climate tech market.

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