Business Opportunities in Green Energy Sector

Category: Environment & Green Technology Published: Thursday, 20 October 2016

Abstract 

There is global awareness about the need of reducing carbon footprint and use of non conventional energy sources. India has ample solar energy potential, numerous sites for harvesting wind energy, vast length of sea coast for tapping tidal energy, huge quantities of agro-wastes and nuclear energy capability. Still, there is very slow progress in wide scale application and adoption of these energy alternatives due to higher initial capital requirements and lack of mass scale education about the payback calculations and overall economics. 

Generally large scale investments are necessary for research, pilot plant studies and commercialization of techno-economically viable projects. The investors need to be educated about the future business opportunities that exist in these projects. 

Multimedia Communication channels like TV and internet should be employed for creating mass awareness. Web technology with video conferencing, actual visits and technical workshops should be arranged for prospective investors from industry and financial institutions. Dnyandeep Foundation has organized number of workshops, launched website and started green-tech yahoo group to boost these activities. The paper highlights the efforts being made worldwide in this direction, lists the business opportunities in manufacture of green technology items and suggests the action plan for speeding implementation of alternative technology in India.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Introduction

Climate change is a threat to mankind. The earth's average surface temperature has increased by 0.3-0.6 0C since the end of the 19th century. Such increase in temperature may seem to be minimal to us but they can lead to a disaster There is global awareness about the need of reducing carbon footprint and use of non conventional energy sources. All countries have undertaken ambitious programs to reduce carbon emissions and are investing heavily in green products and processes. 

India has many strategic advantages for becoming a world leader in this activity. It has ample solar energy potential, numerous sites for harvesting wind energy, vast length of sea coast for tapping tidal energy, huge quantities of agro-wastes and nuclear energy capability. More important than the natural resources, it has a large pool of skilled human resource which can develop new economical and efficient technologies for harnessing natural resources to meet energy needs of India. 

India is the only country in the world to have a dedicated Ministry of Non-conventional Energy Sources (MNES). It has planned to achieve 10% of total capacity addition in the present capacity of 8,000 MW through renewable sources by 2012. To achieve this target, India has initiated many favorable policy instruments to support renewable energy technologies.

India's Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) has announced new system of feed-in tariffs for renewable energy, including both wind and solar energy. CERC has focused on setting preferential tariffs for the period of debt repayment while maintaining an "adequate IRR" or internal rate of return. The regulations says that the discount rate used in determining the tariff will be the average weighted cost of capital. Further, the tariff, defined as the levelized cost of energy, is derived from the specific "useful life" of each technology. 

Even after the launch of various schemes by government to boost use of non-conventional energy sources, still there is very slow progress in wide scale application and adoption of these energy alternatives due to higher initial capital requirements and lack of mass scale education about the payback calculations and overall economics. 

Potential and Achievements in Renewable Energy Applications

Sources/Systems Potential Cumulative Installed Capacity

(31.3 .2006)

Wind Power 45,000 5310.4

Bio-Power (Agri residues and

Plantations) 61,000 46.53

Co-generation Baggasse 5 ,000 867

Small Hydro (up to 25 MW) 15,000 1826.43

Waste to Energy 7 ,000 34.95

Solar Photovoltaics 20 MW per sq. km. 2 .74

Total 8088.05

New Technological Advances 

Some of the new technological advances and initiatives in green technology sector on the global scale can be listed as follow.

1. Solar cells could soon be produced more cheaply using nanoparticle "inks". These nanoparticles can help in printing solar cells like newspaper or painted onto the sides of buildings or rooftops to absorb electricity-producing sunlight. 

2. First algae fuel-powered vehicle in the world was officially launched in San Francisco. The car, called Algaeus is a modified Toyota Prius, which derives power from green crude, from Sapphire Energy. The car runs on an astonishing 150 miles per gallon of green fuel. 

3. Germany to Launch Nationwide Hydrogen Fuel Network by 2015

4. Using a carbon nanotube instead of traditional silicon, researchers have created the basic elements of a solar cell that hopefully will lead to much more efficient ways of converting light to electricity than now used in calculators and on rooftops.

5. The flowing waters in the rivers and tidal waves can be a good source of alternative energy. 

6. Offshore wind turbines can be used to harness windpower on Indian coastline 

7. China is going to build the world's largest plant in with an estimated project completion time of 2019. The plant will be built in Inner Mongolia and the first phase of construction will start on June 1 2010 and cover 25 square miles. The giant complex will be producing 2000 megawatts of power! 

 

Indian Scenario

a) Research & Development Areas

1. Non conventional energy sources

2. Innovative green products

3. Development of waste recycling and reuse techniques

 

b) Business opportunities in Manufacturing

1. Production of eco-friendly building materials.

2. Reuse of foundry sand in concrete

3. Use of Flyash in bricks and concrete blocks

4. Different interior decoration products of natural materials like Bamboo, Jute, Coconut fibres

5. Sensor based water and energy saving devices

6. Production of solar concentrators

 

Generally large scale investments are necessary for research, pilot plant studies and commercialization of techno-economically viable projects. The investors need to be educated about the future business opportunities that exist in these projects. Multimedia Communication channels like TV and internet should be employed for creating mass awareness. Web technology with video conferencing, actual visits and technical workshops should be arranged for prospective investors from industry and financial institutions. 

 

Dnyandeep Foundation’s Initiative - Green-Tech

Green-Tech is a membership supported special project division of Dnyandeep Education & Research Foundation whose mission is to promote green technology in India. The foundation had launched two websites www.envis.org and green city portal. It has also conducted number of seminars on green building at various places in Maharashtra, latest being Green-Tech 2009 at Shivaji University in Feb. 2009. During the discussions with delegates of green building seminars it was revealed that there is lack of communication between green product manufacturers and user community of professionals. Latest technical knowledge and new innovative green products as well as ingenious products are difficult to locate and procure. 

To bridge this gap and enhance information exchange for implementation of Green Building Objectives, Dnyandeep Foundation has launched green-tech yahoo group and plans to develop Green-Tech portal website to provide networking and e-commerce facilities for green products and processes.

 

1. Green Product Directory 

The Green Product Directory shall provide an extensive listing of green products and technologies available in India. This Directory shall provide a reliable tool for building professionals and the general public to conveniently locate suppliers and service providers of green building products, ranging from foundation and framing materials to finishing touches. 

This will help in showcasing new products to community, searching and comparing green products and will facilitate sale and purchase.

2. Professionals Directory

Membership

Green-Tech offers annual membership for students, Teachers, Professionals and Organizations in the field of Engineering and Green Building Industry. 

Member Benefits:

Directory listing with Members page on Green-Tech website 

A platform for members to network and share common interests

Access to research on issues related to sustainable development. 

Summary

 

Great opportunities exist for development of Green business in India. Web technology can effective provide platform for creating awareness, imparting education and an interactive effective mechanism for boosting and monitoring the growth of business in Green Technology sector.