INITIATIVES BY THE INDIAN GOVERNMENT TO BOOST THE CLEANTECH MARKET IN INDIA
Clean technology (cleantech) is now being explored by companies that deal with water, energy sources, transportation, agriculture and manufacturing. The term cleantech is often interchanged with greentech or green technology. Cleantech firms aim to increase productivity, performance and efficiency by reducing the negative effects on the environment. Cleantech companies focus more on sustainability rather than profitability.
Investors are showing increased interest in cleantech companies because there is a philosophical paradigm shift; and investing in environmental-friendly firms is slowly gaining momentum. India’s growing economy and strong demand to reduce pollution, strengthened energy security; and ongoing sector reforms are making India an attractive destination for environmental friendly investors. There are many funds that are wholly dedicated to investing in these types of companies.
Initiatives to bolster the cleantech market in India
Various initiatives have been undertaken by the government of India to encourage and boost the clean energy sector, such as wind bidding schemes, National Solar Mission, skill development, green energy corridor, and several employment opportunities. The objective of the Indian government is to bring about a second green revolution. Clean technologies are poised for dramatic growth in a way which will offer economic, social, and environmental benefits.
The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has set a target to set up renewable energy capacities to 175 GW by 2022. As of June 2018, the government is aiming to achieve 225 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2022. Some initiatives taken by the Government of India for various sectors to boost the Indian renewable energy sector, which has a direct impact on clean technology, are as follows:
1. National Solar Mission: the objective of the National Solar Mission is to establish India as a global leader in solar energy. By 2022, a target of 100 GW solar power has been set. Incentives such as zero import duty on raw material and equipment and low-interest rates and priority sector lending are offered under this mission.
2. Green Energy Corridor: The Green Energy Corridor Project aims at synchronizing electricity produced from renewable sources, such as wind and solar with conventional power stations in the grid. A German development bank has given a soft loan of INR 75.26 Bn for the implementation of the green corridor project. Through this fund, 40% of the intrastate and 70% of interstate transmission schemes will be funded.
3. Hydropower: a new hydropower policy has been drafted for the steady growth and development of the hydro projects in the country for 2018-2028. MNRE will develop small hydropower projects up to 25 MW station capacities and the potential of these plants for power generation will be about 20,000 MW.
4. Skill development: around 0.3 Mn jobs are expected to be created by the solar and wind energy sector by 2022. A target of 50,000 ‘suryamitras’ or skilled manpower has been set for the year 2019-2020 to meet the rising demand for skilled manpower in the solar energy sector.
The cleantech market in India needs the active and consistent support of the government for widespread acceptance. To succeed, cleantech requires in-depth research and development activities and an extensive budget. The government can eliminate subsidies to conventional fuels and technologies, in order to promote cleaner new technologies.