Growing demand for customised energy-saving solutions
“People are embracing green technology with more open mind and willing to invest in such devices and technology,” says Tushar A. Morakhia, CEO, Gloabtel Convergence
Gloabtel is an established name in energy management. How do you see the acceptance and demand of such solutions in India?People are moving toward energy conservation and renewable energy. Minimising losses and wastages, and conserving are undertaken not only by the industry but also by individuals. There is increased sense of conservation and people of various economic backgrounds are coming forward. They are embracing green technology with more open mind and willing to invest in such devices and technology. The manufacturing sector is also realising that energy saving cannot be always measured monetarily. All these factors have resulted higher acceptance and demand for our solutions. In fact, there is increased determination for saving, and goals are set by the industry. Our systems help set the conservation and save goals, and also determine whether targets are achieved or not.
The government is also pursuing industry to reduce their carbon footprint and save energy. Targets are set for high energy users to reduce their consumptions in coming years. There is also provision under Income Tax Act for depreciation of up to 80 per cent in first year on the most of our products. Thus the acceptance and demand for such products are high.
The areas you cater are rapidly evolving. What are your strategies in meeting the increasing and changing demand?We believe that evolvement is the way of life. If you don’t evolve, you are not dreaming and limiting your progress. If you look back to last decade, we were pioneers of two-way automatic meter reading. We were the first to provide energy manager compatible with the most panel meters available in the market. Besides, we have launched windmill monitoring and battery monitoring systems. We also diversified into panel manufacturing, MagFLux energy saving panels, and RTPFC. We provide energy audit services to our clients. Last year we introduced LED lights for industry and commercial establishments. Late in 2012, we brought EBOX, a small PC useful for office, home and SCADA application. We’re again aiming at saving energy and green energy. The PC consumes only 15 watt while normal PC consumes 60 watt. It is excellent for thin client, POS, security applications, converting TV into smart TV, outdoor advertising and for SCADA/HMI solutions. Currently, it is being mainly used in SCADA application throughout the world. We also tied up with a Turkish company to manufacture single-phase meters in India. We are evolving and providing more solutions at economical rates. The consumers are also demanding customised energy-saving solutions. Our energy management solution is customised for 99 per cent of our clients.
Last year India has experienced the world’s largest blackout, keeping half of the population under dark. How can we ensure reliable power supply while achieving optimum efficiency?Whatever happened last year was totally avoidable. India has one the highest T&D loss and that scenario is not healthy for the industries as well as for the country. Because of this reason, it is not meeting the generation targets, although the demand is increasing many. Take an example of Palghar in Maharashtra. Earlier, there was power for only few hours a day. Now with the help of local residents and politicians, they are able to reduce the T&D losses, and the power is available for the most of the day. This is just one example and same can be repeated at many places. Other problem is capital investment. We need to upgrade our distribution system across the country and provide inter connectivity among all the states. There are plans for upgrading it, but due to high losses of DISCOMs, it has become difficult to upgrade. The system should be smart and upgraded keeping in mind the future requirements. Only this way, we can ensure reliable, optimal efficiency. At least we can save, and each unit saved is equal to three units generated.
Brief about the products and solutions you offer under energy management segment.We have combination of software and hardware under energy management. For manufacturing industry, we provide software that has excellent features of analysis, reports, and trending. It provides the micro- and macro-level analysis of the energy and helps plug the leakages. As I told earlier, it is meter independent and can work with the most meters, so the clients do not have to change their existing meters and can implement the system with minimal cost. It helps user monitor each and individual consumption point in the plant and also overall consumption pattern. It also helps determine whether machineries are running at optimal levels or not.
For the renewable energy generator companies, we also provide similar system with remote monitoring features. Remote monitoring allows user to access the data from anywhere and get alerts on their mobile in anomaly.
Where does India stand in terms of achieving energy efficiency, compared to the developed countries?I don’t think such comparison should be done even we lag behind. We face socio-economic problem in achieving energy efficiency. There is very high gap between demand and supply in India. This does not mean that we should not try for efficiency. The root cause of inefficiency or rather under efficiency is high T&D loss and old distribution network. There are states and cities which are high in energy efficiency and have very well-set plan for maintaining their network. This is how you get efficiency.
Please highlight the barriers of achieving energy efficiency in India.The main cause of inefficiency is the attitude of the consumer (household and industrial). We, as consumers, willing to have the best of the things without realising that today everything comes with the cost. If consumer understands that generation also costs and it is not free then many problems will be solved. We always look for faster ROI or cheaper devices even for energy saving. One should understand that it is a long-term process.
Renewable energy has given us very limited results. The generation from various renewable sources is far low from expected. As a result, existing generators are under a lot of pressure. The government needs to address this problem immediately.
According to you, what steps should the government take to promote energy efficiency in India?There are a few very good steps taken by BEE like PAT and LEED certification schemes. This can bring good results over a period of time. The awareness is also driving some big industries for increasing energy efficiency and conservations. They have been taking steps to use energy-saving panels, incorporating LED lights, and solar lights.
However, the government needs to increase the awareness among the masses and need to control its own consumption. At present, there are hardly any green buildings in India. A push is required for renewable energy as well as upgrade of distribution network. It should also have multiple distribution companies in the same area. This will provide more competition and reliable network. Currently, most DISCOMs enjoy monopoly; hence, there is hardly any motivation for improvements. Generation companies are facing problem of raw materials like coal and gas. Any solution isn’t there in near future.
This does not mean that the government is not doing anything. Now we get appliances that are graded for its energy efficiency by BEE. But again, consumers prefer low-cost appliances at the cost of energy efficiency. Although, the government is highlighting the benefits of such devices, consumer seldom buys them.
Can you explain why you have an edge over your competitors?We have in-house R&D team as well as an after-sales team to support for our systems and products. Most of our products are result of our in-house development. We continue to provide upgraded systems to our clients. We are one-stop solution for energy conservation and management. Our products are flexible, reliable, and economical. We guarantee saving through our systems. We provide solutions to meet the unique customised requirements of each client rather than fixed solutions.
Tell us about your expansion plan and how much are you going to invest for this?We have already expanded our sales force and now in process of expanding our R&D team. We are also hiring consultants for R&D and exploring new market segments. We are increasing our capex and R&D investment from next financial year. If we proceed as we plan, we will be able to start working from our new office and new production house from next financial year.
Growing demand for customised energy-saving solutions