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Potential for India to lead in climate software - India's role in global decarbonization using digital

Notes by Narsi

India's domestic software market size (sales) is about $10 billion; its software exports, $150 billion.

The global services market is around $500 billion, so India has a 33% of the total software services market (assuming most of India's exports are services). That's a pretty stunning number, and I hope I'm getting this right :)

Well, I need not have tried so hard. Every joe on the road knows India is a software superpower.

Why cannot we leverage this dominance to contribute to the use of digital in global decarbonization efforts?

Estimates from a number of international experts have suggested that digital solutions could cut down global greenhouse gas emissions by up to about 20% by 2030. That's an awesome number - given that our emissions are about 50 billion tons of CO2 equivalent per year, that would be a reduction of about 10 billion tons.

Putting a number on CO2, say $50 per ton (that's how much it  costs today to sequester from a thermal power plant), that would be the equivalent of about $500 billion worth of CO2 removed,  year on year, by 2030. Some potential, this!

Well, such a decarbonization potential for digital will doubtless lead to pretty large markets for digital solutions foe decarbonization.

While such large market potential can make Indian software companies salivate, it may not be that easy for Indian companies to add vaue here.

  • For one, many of the software solutions that are currently helping in decarbonization are "products" and not services, and the former is not where India is strong.
  • Second, there are as yet nothing that can be said to be dominant standards or the equivalent of operating platforms on which these digital solutions (be they services or products) are built, so, it is right now a bit of chaos, with all the leading tech (IoT, AI, Big Data, Digital Twins, SaaS...) playing key roles in all sorts of assorted solutions.

A section I worked on earlier this year on the global digital for decarbonization canvas could provide some insights on what's going on in the digital for decarbonization space.

Interestingly, though perhaps not surprisingly, many Indian climate tech startups have a software component in their solution, and if one were to use the India Climate Tech 100 put together by my team (a listing of 100 Indian pure play climate tech startups) as a benchmark, about 25% of the Indian climate tech startups have digital as an important component of their solution. This is on similar lines to what my team estimates for the global pure play startups - about 35% of them have a strong digital component.

Currently, most of the digital expertise in India for decarbonization is being used in solutions for the Indian market - for energy efficiency, in electric vehicles, in battery management systems etc.  For the Indian climate tech companies (or for the Indian IT companies for that matter) to become a big supplier of digital solutions for the global market, there needs to be a significant amount of learning needed by these companies both on specific decarbonization verticals, as well as about specific needs by key emitting markets (USA, EU, Japan...).

It will take some efforts for the Indian IT firms/climate tech startups to make a real difference to global decarbonization efforts, but these efforts will be fully worth it.

Here are some interesting Indian climate tech startups with a good dollops of digital in their solutions:

Yulu - Electric micromobility service providers, providing electric bikes as a service

Sun Mobility - Smart EV batteries and battery swapping technology

Numocity - Intelligent charging management platform for e-mobility service providers

WEGot - Smart water meter for residential and commercial buildings

SmarterHomes - Smart water meter solution for urban infrastructure

FluxGen - AI & IoT-based water management solution for industries

Digital Paani - Digital tech using IoT and customized sensors to enhance and optimize waste water treatment plants

Cranberry Analytics - Measuring water through its entire distribution and consumption cycle to enhance use efficiency

Recykal - Digital solution and marketplace for waste management

Fasal - Solar-powered  IoT-SaaS device for precision farming

Farm Again - Precision agriculture using AI & IoT

Ion Energy - Electronics and software for management for electric vehicles and batteries

iGrenEnergi - Battery management using AI and advanced electronics

Esmito - Batteries, battery manangement solutions, battery swap stations and infra management platform

Zodhya - AI based air conditioner energy efficiency & energy saving solution for commercial buildings and real estate

SustLabs - Real-time energy monitoring bot designed for residential electricity users 

Smart Joules - IoT based energy-efficiency-as-a-service platform 

Powerbot - A smart meter that provides an end-to-end solution for industries and commercial buildings 

Low Soot - An IoT app for individuals to track and minimize their carbon footprints

LivNSense - Manufacturing IoT & AI platform for real-time monitoring of plant performance, process optimization & predictive maintenance

Intello Labs - Use of artificial intelligence for digitizing food quality 

Equator Geo - GIS-based services for the carbon market with a solution-based approach tailoring to the client demands 

Energyly - IoT based energy monitoring data & control machine/equipment that drives savings

Edgegrid - A platform to enable the energy transition for last-mile customers 

Ecolibrium Energy - IoT-based advanced energy analytics platform for energy consumption 

Detect Technologies - AI-based inspection technology to enhance overall efficiency and reduce costs for industrial assets 

RenKube - Building efficient solar panels with motion free optical tracking technology

SenseHawk - The one-stop AI powered software from beginning to the end of construction monitoring for solar photovoltaic solution 

In(fiction) Labs - Robotic solar panel cleaner 

BiofuelCircle - Cloud-based ecosystem for biomass and biofuel supply chains

TRST01 - Blockchain solutions for digital transformation of agriculture and other sectors. 

Sheru - Cloud-based energy storage application platform

TraceX Technologies - Blockchain based digital platform to make food supply chain climate resilient.

SundayGrids - Digital platform to get clean energy credits through use of virtual solar power. 

De Haat - AI enabled technologies for supply chain and production efficiencies in the farm sector. - A digital agriculture platform offering farmer and agriculture services for higher yields and profits

Thermelgy - IoT devices and AI platform for industrial energy efficiency 

Gram Power - Smart electricity metering system & solutions for power distribution management.

Probus Smart Things - IoT solutions for electricity distribution utilities 

Kristnam Technologies - Digital water resources management.



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