In conversation with Ms. Ritu Lal, Senior Vice President and Head of External & Institutional Relations, at Amplus Solar, about the limitations and prospects of solar power, green hydrogen and role of IT in clean energy.
We talk about the limitations of harnessing and storage of solar power- do you think emerging technology could be a game changer?
Maintaining grid stability with storage solutions is the only way we can optimize solar power to its peak potential. At present, cost considerations have limited the amount of large-scale adoption of storage solutions.
Any kind of tech advancements that bring about a significant cost reduction can foster the scalability of ESS and be a game changer. In the meantime, we are highly dependent on import of Li-Ion cells for our ESS needs and reduction on import duty along with GST rates will help. The announcement of a viability gap funding for battery ESS for a total capacity of 4 GWh in the Union Budget 2023 is a welcome step that should hopefully result in greater ESS deployments.
What in your view is the future of green hydrogen in India?
There is explicit interest in Green Hydrogen across the globe, and India is hoping to become a global supplier. However, to become a leading Green hydrogen and ammonia player, we must do much more to minimize the cost of green hydrogen generation. The government announced the Green Hydrogen mission earlier this year. While the Hydrogen policy does look at production link incentives (PLI) for electrolyzer manufacturing, we look forward to policies that provide relief from import duty on solar cells and modules to make the input cost of green electricity in Hydrogen production commercially viable.
Despite the global commitment towards Paris agreement and Net zero emission, do you really foresee demand decline or plateau for oil and coal soon, say by 2040?
With increasing industrialization and electrification, there is continuous rise in our energy demand. While we are witnessing huge investments in creating clean energy capacities, there is no reduction in the use of fossil fuels. For countries like India, our base load will continue to be met by fossil fuels for the next decade or so, despite the increasing share of renewables in our energy mix.
Is India gearing towards handling the IT infrastructure that is required for all the advancements in the information technology space – which is relevant for virtually every segment?
From design to project management and then maintenance of a solar or wind plant, information technology and digitalization plays a key role in the clean energy space. The next step will be to integrate the data across all generating stations into the grid. There is a lot of opportunity for developing add-ons to the existing softwares/applications with features for demand planning, generation, grid traffic management, deployment and utilization of storage etc. Advancements in weather forecasting technologies will also play a crucial role in more accurate forecasting of generation from large-scale renewable plants.
Ms. Ritu Lal
Senior Vice President and Head of External & Institutional Relations
Ritu Lal is Senior Vice President and Head of External & Institutional Relations, at Amplus Solar. Ritu is passionate about India’s renewable opportunities, especially Solar, and is a keen advocate for policy support and initiatives that can maximise India’s adoption of clean energy.
Ritu is an active member in all the major policy advocacy groups in the renewable energy sector, giving inputs to MNRE and regulatory bodies including SERCs for designing policies that aid the deployment of rooftop solar in India. She is frequently invited to share her thoughts as an industry expert by leading think tanks, industry bodies, media, government and multilateral agencies etc., in India and internationally.
She has been with Amplus from its early days and previously headed the Business Development portfolio.
Her rich experience of over 25 years has been across various fields. Her diverse skill sets give her an in-depth understanding of industry requirements as well as business and regulatory issues. Her career has been marked with diverse geographical exposure, and along with India, she has worked in Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa.
In addition to her business role, she mentors solar professionals and industry start-ups and also trains government officials across various countries through organisations like IRENA, National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE), International Solar Alliance (ISA), and the World Bank. She is a part of various industry initiatives aimed at increasing the participation of women in renewable energy.
About Amplus Solar
Amplus Solar, a member of PETRONAS Group, is Asia’s leading distributed energy company providing low carbon energy solutions primarily to industrial and commercial customers. Amplus provides clean energy to its clients by setting up both on-site solar projects (rooftop and ground-mounted) and off-site solar farms. Amplus owns and manages a portfolio of 1.2+ GWp of distributed solar assets across India.About InfEneTy
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