The Economic Times of India, a global media company, held this year’s Economic Times Energy Leadership Summit from June 17 to 18. Speakers for the event included key government officials, representatives from major energy companies, and industry experts. At a panel discussion during the event, Deepak Bagla, managing director and CEO of Invest India, said that India possesses an enormous investment potential for renewable energies. Invest India is a government-supported national agency that assists investors in seeking opportunities within the country.
According to Bagla, foreign direct investments into the Indian renewable energy industry between 2000 and 2020 came to US$10 billion, and more than half of that amount was made in the past five years. The country will need to invest more than US$500 billion over the next decade in solar PV, wind power, electric power infrastructure, and energy storage. Besides infrastructure modernization and expanding the deployment of renewable generation systems, there will be increasing efforts in localization of manufacturing for renewable generation equipment and energy storage equipment (i.e., batteries).
Bagla also noted that investments in the Indian renewable energy industry have been growing despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Before March 2020, or the start of the pandemic, the flow of investments into the country’s renewable energy industry was around US$70 billion. It has now reached around US$168 billion.
The Economic Times and other local news agencies reported that at the same panel discussion, participants all agreed that “disruptive technologies” and “creative innovations” will be the critical drivers behind the growth of the country’s renewable energy industry.
Anita Maragoly George, executive VP and deputy head of CDPQ Global, said that India has to leverage its comparative advantages in order to “leapfrog” other countries in the manufacturing of products for applications related to renewable energy. CDPQ Global is a private equity firm that focuses on infrastructure and real estate. George suggested a “software heavy” approach that relies on AI, machine learning, 3D printing, etc. to establish modern manufacturing hubs.
George added that the Indian government has to provide the private sector with incentives that encourage the manufacturing of related products. Furthermore, more attention needs to be paid on the supply of commodities that are consumed by companies working in the domestic supply chains for various renewable energies.