Thursday, July 30, 2009
"Cleantech" The Greatest opportunity for India.
What is CleanTech?
Clean tech encompasses a constellation of environmentally-sustainable technologies spanning multiple value chains in four primary economic sectors - energy, water, materials and transportation. Individually, these technologies are focused on the optimization of natural resources. Collectively, they are the basic elements of a broader systemic response to the systemic challenges of sustainability. The following taxonomy provides a basic snapshot of the core technologies that define the cleantech space:
Water & Wastewater
Air & Environment
Recycling & Waste
Clean tech has also been defined as:
“Clean tech is a diverse range of products, services, and processes that harness renewable materials and energy sources, dramatically reduce the use of natural resources, and cut or eliminate emissions and wastes . . . [which are] are competitive with, if not superior to, their conventional counterparts.”
–Clean Edge, Inc.
Its widely believed that cleantech is the single biggest investment opportunity of the 21st century. As far as market size is concerned, if you add up energy and transport sector, that’s $6 trillion worldwide. That is massive; it dwarfs sectors like IT. But that does not mean you will have hundreds of companies with billion dollar market caps immediately. The risks and hurdles are also big. The biggest hurdle is obviously that you need more capital.
The 1-2-3 factors driving investors to cleantech are -A Global Conseus on the menace of climate change, followed by a early shape to global policy on carbon pricing & volatile swings of fossil fuel pricings.
Cleantech is not a theory, and people have made money in India. Perfect example is Suzlon which has reported revenues of more than $1 billion. Like India made IT services industry hugely strategic 10-15 years ago, I think the country has a fantastic chance of making cleantech strategic too.
The biggest problem for the country is infrastructure.Mainly energy and transport. We have massive scarcity of power.
India did a complete quantum leap in telecom.We didn’t make investments in wire line, we went straight to wireless. We skipped a generation of technology. Why won’t you do the same thing in energy? Why would you go to 50-60 year old technology of coal and natural gas, when you can go to something new in energy business.
The thought of desalination of sea water for the ever scarce drinking water problem in chennai has been there for some time now. The government needs to create a viable atmosphere for private players to invest in this area as water is going to be all the more scarce with climate change rendering monsoons unpredictable.
India is one of the fastest growing automobile markets in the world.Like in telecom we can afford to skip several manufacturing & engineering bottle necks and leap frog into battery powered auto mobiles cutting down emission dramatically. Think about the opportunity of coding intelligent software to manage power grids and battery hubs from a SW lab at Hitech City @ Cyberabad.
It would be a right step forward if the government assigns a minister of state for Cleantech to channelize investments. Recognizing this sector as a separate industry is a huge step forward. A visionary move that the UPA government will take which can create as many jobs as the IT sector has given the nation. This may not get them the vote bank as did the 60000 cr loan waiver but will surely create greener pastures for a Green Global India as a hub of cleantech source.
It’s a huge opportunity India & the world has to benefit from in a hurry !