FICCI organises session on ‘Renewable Energy Transition for Commercial and Industrial Consumers: For the Eastern Region’

Kolkata, November 24, 2023.

The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), jointly with AmpIn Energy Transition, organized an interactive session on Renewable Energy Transition for Commercial and Industrial Consumers, to showcase renewable energy solutions and technologies available for Indian industrial consumers, supporting their transition towards decarbonization and the net-zero journey.

Mr. Pinaki Bhattacharyya, Senior Member of FICCI Renewable Energy CEOs Council and Managing Director & CEO of AmpIn Energy Transition, in his welcome address, said, “The eastern region is poised for an energy transition, offering industries potential savings of 20–30% by adopting renewable energy. The declining costs of renewable energy make it imperative for industries not to delay the shift. Renewable energy providers should adopt a long-term vision, recognizing the availability of funding from international investors and the equity market’s interest in the sector. Collaboration between industry, solution providers, the financial sector, and government at both central and state levels is crucial for a successful transition.”

Presenting the trends of adopting renewable energy (RE) solutions by commercial and industrial consumers, Mr. Anish Mandal, partner at Deloitte India, highlighted how India has to achieve its net-zero goals. “India is performing admirably compared to the global scenario in renewable energy generation, experiencing an annual growth rate of 6–7%. Almost half of the demand stems from the commercial and industrial (C&I) sector, which has established its decarbonization objectives and attracted substantial investments. Additionally, both the Centre and state governments have introduced a range of initiatives to support and further this progress.”

While addressing the seminar, Mr. Debasish Banerjee, Managing Director, CESC Ltd, said, “Affordability is of utmost importance, and the storage costs are very high. It’s time for battery costs to come down. A balanced approach to energy affordability, security, and transition is essential. Once storage costs decrease, stored renewable energy can be an effective backup, especially during peak seasons. This summer, peak demand within our jurisdiction rose by 25–30%, reaching temperatures of 52–53 degrees Celsius. The total renewable energy capacity in the eastern states is approximately 80 GW, and efforts should be made to increase this capacity.”

Mr. Anil Razdan, Former Secretary of the Ministry of Power, Government of India, stated, “The transition has been gradual, but the prospects are promising. Imperatives like global warming and rising sea levels compel us to embrace renewable energy solutions. Energy efficiency is a necessity, demanding a reduction in consumption. Our aspirations, mindsets, and lifestyles must undergo change. Collaborative efforts are needed to create pump storage facilities, tapping into every source of renewable energy, be it tidal power or electricity generation from river water.”

Mr. Ajay Kumar Pandey, Director (Regulatory & Trading), West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company, Government of West Bengal, said, “In West Bengal, we have been taking many steps; one of the oldest running hydro plants in Asia is situated here. Since 2007, we have had a fully operational 900 MW pump storage in Purulia, and plans are underway for four additional pump storage of similar capacity in the same location. Government clearance has already been obtained for a 500 MW floating solar unit. The primary challenges lie in mindset and commercial aspects, which must be addressed and overcome.”

Mr. Hemant Sharma, Principal Secretary, Industries Department, Government of Odisha, in his virtual address, spoke, “Energy efficiency and conservation are crucial, and it’s essential to encourage commercial and industrial (C&I) consumers to procure renewable energy from distributors through effective regulatory mechanisms, a practice already underway in Odisha. Assistance should be extended to industries with captive power plants, facilitating their transition to renewable energy despite the associated investments. In Odisha, we offer incentives to industries transitioning to renewable energy and actively encourage renewable energy solution providers to invest in the region, including setting up necessary plants.”

Mr. Hemant Verma, Chairman of Chhattisgarh State Electricity Regulatory Commission, said in his virtual address, “Transitioning to renewable energy is now a necessity, not an option, with significant potential in the eastern region. The Government of Chhattisgarh is offering incentives for both industries to shift to renewable energy and solution providers to establish plants in the state. A collaborative approach is deemed the most effective way forward.”