Sumant Sinha, Founder, Chairman, and CEO of ReNew Power, on Tuesday said decisions around clean energy transition will not be put on hold regardless of the geopolitical situation. He was, of course, referring to the Russia-Ukraine war.
Speaking on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum's annual summit in Davos, Sinha told CNBC-TV18, “The world of energy is in a bit of turmoil right now. In Europe, particularly, that is a very, very big concern as to how to decouple from Russian gas. Most of the discussion, 90 percent, was around the whole issue of energy security and where might Europe get its alternate sources of energy from.”
He said Europe has always been at the forefront of the climate change conversation and so, it will want to set an example."Europe will press on with climagte change from its own trade and through this, put pressure on the rest of the world to move faster on the decarbonisation agenda,” he said.
Sinha said that decisions around the clean transition will not get put on pause and will go ahead.
On energy prices in Europe, he said, “One fundamental fact that will emerge from all of this is that energy prices are going to go up. If you take a big chunk of supply from the energy world, and just knock it out and if it doesn't (come from) elsewhere, then prices will obviously go up for the remaining sources of supply that are left behind.”
On power outages and coal shortage, Sinha said there has been an improvement, partly because renewable energy use has kicked up. "The monsoon season has started, so wind energy generation has gone up, it is raining in some parts of the country, So hydro-electric generation has also picked up and along with that, obviously, power demand has also come down a little bit," he explained.
He further said India's needs an institutional overhall in the power sector, where long-term planning is concerned. “They don't do long-term planning, and therefore were not able to plan for the fact that if demand (fell) during COVID, that it might go up as well at some point. So they make no allowances for that. Obviously planning for something as complex as power supplies, you have to be looking at least five or 10 years doing long-range forecast," he said.
Sinha believes that the Indian government has done a good thing by reducing dependency on China for module imports. “India, therefore is taking a pretty positive step in trying to domesticate that whole industry. I think that is going to be a big, big opportunity for Indian companies, which now can potentially set up manufacturing capacity on the back of domestic demand, but also then potentially look at exports,” Sinha said.
On the manufacturing aspect and PLI schemes, Sinha said, “The most important thing is protection from the imports in the future and to the extent that the PLI scheme can be put together, we need to have that clarity. I don't think we need anything else beyond that, and the domestic market is there and that is going to be good enough.”