Report launch on Renewable Energy Demand in India, focussing on Commercial and Industrial (C&I) buyers
WWF-India launched a report, titled, Renewable Energy Demand in India: Corporate Buyers’ Perspective. It examines the role of the corporate sector, constituting commercial and industrial (C&I) consumers of power, in driving greater uptake of RE in India. RE buyers include corporates that procure RE through captive generation, power purchase agreements, or purchase of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs), voluntarily or for compliance reasons. The report focuses more on solar and wind power, due to overall rising installed capacity, and greater interest shown by corporates when compared to other RE technologies.
It is imperative to understand as to how corporate demand can be unlocked. Commercial & Industrial (C&I) customers constitute more than 50% of electricity demand in India. The corporate sector has a critical role to play to support sustainable growth of the economy, and for India to achieve its ambitious renewable energy targets of 175GW installed capacity by 2022. Accordingly, with a thrust on proactive and conducive policies, strong investor sentiment, cohesive public and private sector participation, sharp decrease in costs, and support from the states, among other factors, the demand uptake needs to be scaled up significantly to meet the RE targets and steer ahead on the path of green energy.
While the business case for procuring RE is strong, corporate RE procurement is still sluggish. Procurement is quite challenging due to multiple barriers such as, policy and regulatory uncertainty, complex and often inconsistent national and state policies and regulations, inadequate awareness of compliance processes, infrastructure issues, etc.
The primary purpose of the report is to provide an RE buyer’s perspective by highlighting the rapidly increasing corporate RE procurement trends, the rationale for and mechanisms involved in this procurement. The report focuses on the challenges that these corporates are facing while procuring RE. The report highlights that policy and regulatory barriers as the major challenges restricting the greater uptake of RE. The report also provides recommendations for corporates and policy makers to address some of these challenges.
In order to understand and present the buyers’ perspective, the report involves a combination of primary and secondary research. Secondary research involved an analysis of top 100 companies on the National Stock Exchange (NSE), by market capitalisation and their climate and renewable energy initiatives. On the other hand, primary research involved direct interaction with 40 companies, already engaged in RE procurement or actively planning to purchase RE, to understand their perspective in RE procurement. The survey also included responses from 15 RE project developers.
Secondary research revealed that 69% of the companies are already procuring RE in some form, 27% of the companies have GHG reduction targets, 22% have RE procurement targets, and 10% of the companies have both. The Software and Services sector is ahead of other industry groups, with all 100% (6) companies having GHG reduction targets and 83% (5) companies having RE targets in place.
The comprehensive assessment of corporates highlights major drivers for investing in RE are economic advantages, requirements towards regulatory compliance and sustainability commitments. The decreasing costs of RE in recent years compared to tariffs charged by DISCOMs increases its uptake whereas, the issues related to policy and regulations are identified as the biggest challenges restricting corporates from procuring RE.
The report recognises the need to bridge procurement gaps, for which it recommends to corporates to procure RE in a planned manner with a long-term vision, by choosing a business model after careful assessment of risks and opportunities. This report showcases some successful examples of corporate RE procurement as case studies. It advises policy makers and regulators to ensure greater certainty and consistency in policies, regulations and their implementation, as there is intent to procure RE, which will encourage investors and corporates to undertake long term investments in RE.
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