Monday, May 27, 2024

‘Gentari to bet on hydrogen, utility-scale power in India’

What are your plans for the utility space in India? Are you in talks for tie-ups and investments?

Amplus Solar has taken a couple of projects in the utility space. But, we are not yet there in a big way. We plan to go big on that. Amplus will keep focussing in the commercial and industrial space. We will focus on the utility scale business through the Gentari platform. We will grow organically. We are going to look at our own developed projects, but we will also partner with like-minded companies to grow in that segment. Because, when you are looking at growing rapidly, you need to do all of it. You need to develop your own projects, partner with like-minded entities and look at inorganic growth, like our investment in Australia, where we have acquired a company and now looking to scale that up. This is what we also did with Amplus Solar. We look at different opportunities across markets, whether it is government players or private companies. We are discussing with several companies and parties. We are looking at growing rapidly.

Will the utility business account for a larger share of Gentari’s solar power business in India?

We have significant ambition in utility projects. With 1.4 GW of commercial and industrial projects, we are serving over 300 customers. When you talk about utility projects, these are large. They are going to be 100-400 MW projects. Utility space should become the bigger segment for us.

How significant is India for you?

India is extremely significant. First, it has vast resources. Second, the economy is growing, urbanization is happening, industrialization is happening and the population is growing. So, there will be a lot of demand that India would have in terms of energy need. It is already the third largest energy consumer in the world. So, India will play a significant role for anyone who wants to become a global leader in the clean energy space. From a policy standpoint, I think there are favourable policies for implementation of clean energy projects and hydrogen. We believe this is the right moment for us to come in and invest in India.

On the green mobility side, especially for the charging infrastructure, we would like to be a preferred partner for Asia Pacific and have a market share of about 10%, or about 25,000 charging points by 2030. This is our initial ambition. When you do that, India is going to be a significant part of that ambition. If we have to get to 30-40 GW, India will have to play a key role to achieve it. We would invest significant amounts of renewable capacity in India, hydrogen production as well as on green mobility.

India launched a green hydrogen policy. What are your plans on this front?

Our global ambition is to have a capacity of 1.2 million tonnes per annum of hydrogen by 2030, that means we are looking at key markets right now. We are looking at Malaysia, India, Australia and Canada where we would have projects to produce hydrogen and then export part of it to countries which are going to be the early adopters of hydrogen. In India, we are looking at producing hydrogen due to certain key elements such as the right policies. India can become a decent market in itself. We are looking at round-the-clock power in India which is quite important going forward. India is clearly a place where things are happening. There is a significant opportunity for India to become a hydrogen economy.

We have done two MoUs (for green hydrogen), one with Karnataka and the other with Tamil Nadu, for feasibility studies on producing green hydrogen and convert it to ammonia and export. These are currently our own developments. We are also discussing with other partners across the country.

Will you be offering services across the renewable energy spectrum? What are your plans for the emerging sectors such as energy storage and offshore wind?

Battery and pump storage will be key elements of India’s grid infrastructure. When we are talking about investing about 500 GW of renewables by 2030, we need to invest in grid infrastructure, and energy storage because these will help us to deal with the intermittency. So, energy storage will be key and we would also be looking at energy storage projects. We have bid for energy storage projects,and are looking at round-the-clock projects where energy storage would become a key component. We are open to all opportunities in the RE space. Our ambition is to grow not only in solar, but onshore and offshore wind.

We are looking at opportunities when they arise and evaluate if they actually meet our criteria. If we can deliver power at the right price and have the right returns, we will execute them.

What are your views on regulatory issues for solar power, including high customs duty on modules and implementation of Approved List of Models and Manufacturers (ALMM)?

When one looks at investing in projects in India one wants long-term sustained policy. Investors do not like variations in policy measures. We are dealing with it on a daily basis, doing fairly okay, but really want these issues to settling down for a long-term visibility.

As you plan to go big with utility scale power projects, do the instances of high discom dues concern you?

Yes, it concerns. When you talk about investing you need have the policy stability. You need to have the right returns project so that you can invest more and more and at the same time you would also like to get paid. So, the counterparty that we do projects with we also ensure that we do projects with the counterparties which have the right history and record of paying in time.

You recently announced partnerships for your vehicle-as-a-service business. What more can we expect in terms of your EV business in India?

A. So far we have deployed closed to 1,000 three-wheelers here in India, that is in four cities. Now we are looking at deploying 4,000 vehicles by the end of this year in across 10 cities. In the green mobility side we are also doing EV charging infrastructure. So we 7 charging hubs in 4 cities with about 160 charging points and that’s also we are going to grow going forward.

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