Webinar: Transitions in the UK-India Energy Sectors

By Emma Lynch

On 27 January, the UK India Business Council (UKIBC) hosted a webinar focusing on Transitions in the UK-India Energy sectors.

UKIBC Associate Director Prasenjit Dhar moderated the session led by Debasish Mishra and Jimit Devani, Partners at Deloitte; Alex Marshall, Group Business Development and Marketing Director at Clarke Energy; and Jennifer Fagan, First Secretary Trade and Investment at the British High Commission in New Delhi.

Debasish began by addressing industry opportunities in renewable energy (RE) and the initiatives in place that are working towards reducing climate change. A few mentioned include the Green Climate Fund (GCF), moving to a 30% electricity vehicle (EV) by FY 2030, and the National Mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency programme. With support that it has been receiving from the government in India, the RE share to 24% of the total installed power generation capacity.

Debasish went on to discuss the shift in India to round-the-clock (RTC) power through RE, which is aligned with the growing share of RE. Although the current installed RE capacity is 90 GW, India has a very high RE potential. Debasish shared findings from CEA’s report which predicts that the installed capacity of RE could be as high as 435 GW by March 2030. The Government of India’s initiatives for RE congestion is also examined. Debasish concluded his portion of the presentation with investment opportunities within the RE sector.

Jimit followed this by focusing on taxation around the RE sector in India. Firstly, he highlighted key points for investors to bear in mind when investing in India. These points include jurisdiction, contract structuring, private equity (PE) exposure, labour laws, compliance, power sector issues, funding, and forms of entity.

Jimit then addressed operational issues and how to take your money out of India at any time (exit strategy). India has recently created various schemes where there are two or three tax rates which could be applicable incentives depending on what you are claiming. The key points here are incentive optimisation; cash enhancement; tax certainty; exchange control; ETR optimisation; divestment; dividend; and cash repatriation.

Thereafter, Alex gave an overview of Clarke Energy’s global operations, ethos and product offerings, emphasising that India is one of its key business hubs in the waste-to-energy area. Where RE efficiency is concerned, Clarke Energy has a range of different applications for gas engines. The need for flexible clean generation with better utilisation of a number of fuels from waste, is a growing sector of the business.

Alex shared a few case studies, including the first biogas installation in 1997, a sewage gas operation in Kodungayur, and a more recent project involving trigeneration (electricity, heat, and cooling) for the treatment of waste products with Embio, a pharmaceuticals manufacturer in Maharashtra. Alex also shared an example of flexible generation in Forsa Energy, showing the opportunity for UK-style installations which could have value in India. Alex concluded his presentation by mentioning Clarke Energy and UKIBC’s recent white paper on ‘Removing Barriers to Sustainable Municipal Solid Waste Management using Anaerobic Digestion in India’.

Jennifer came on next and discussed the UK Government’s Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution. These ten points are also equally applicable to India. A quote shared by Jennifer read, ‘One measure of the opportunity is that 83 percent of the $13.3 trillion of global investment in electricity systems by 2050 could be in zero-carbon technologies’.

Jennifer focused on three areas of opportunities that DIT in India is currently focusing on for UK businesses to become involved in the India market: offshore wind, smart grids and electrical networks, and energy storage. This is not to say there are not many more opportunities such as hydrogen, waste-to-energy, and onshore wind and solar. Jennifer shared examples of a few firms who have been succeeding in India and what operations they have been working on. She concluded her presentation by welcoming participants to reach out to their local DIT international trade adviser for support.

Many thanks to our exceptional speakers for providing their time and resources for this webinar. If you were unable to join our session on the day, or would like to go through the webcast again, we invite you to watch the webinar below for the discussion in full.

UKIBC is working closely with our members, clients and contacts, as well as both governments, to demonstrate their expertise, advocate good practices, and to further showcase what the UK-India collaboration can achieve in the energy transition and climate space. We would like this group to not only influence the bilateral thinking ahead of COP 26 but also focus on mutual win-wins both at policy and commercial levels going forward. If you would like to know more or would like to participate in our Energy Transition and Climate Economy Group, please contact Prasenjit Dhar at Prasenjit.dhar@ukibc.com.

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