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Home » News » Industry leaders weigh in on post-budget announcement

Industry leaders weigh in on post-budget announcement

February 3, 2024 12:57 pm

Industry leaders weigh in on post-budget announcement
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The Union Budget 2024 has sparked a wave of optimism and enthusiasm across various sectors as industry leaders and experts weigh in on the government’s strategic allocations and policy directions.

With a steadfast focus on fostering innovation, sustainability, and inclusive growth, the Interim Budget 2024 has set a compelling roadmap for India’s journey towards a green, resilient, and prosperous future. Notably, the budget has strongly emphasised leveraging cutting-edge technologies like solar energy and digital platforms to drive economic growth while ensuring environmental sustainability.

Sushil Virmani, Managing Director of Best Power Equipments (BPE), said that as we navigate the landscape of Union Budget 2024, the government must accentuate and foster an environment for both local and global investments in semiconductor technology, AI, and digital platforms. “This strategic focus aligns with our industry’s evolution. Simultaneously, we recognise the imperative to integrate these cutting-edge technologies into our educational curriculum, ensuring a skilled workforce. This synergy is pivotal for propelling our nation towards the coveted 7 trillion economy by 2030,” he added.

Commenting on the Budget, Gautam Mohanka, CEO of Gautam Solar, said, “The 2024 budget is a highly forward-looking budget with a huge emphasis on Renewable Energy in general and Solar Energy in particular. The Finance Minister has taken a huge step forward by budgeting for Rooftop Solar on one crore households, under which the HHs will get up to 300 units of free solar electricity.” He further says, “It will also have a net positive effect on domestic solar module manufacturing, with the ALMM being reinstated from April. This will not only create a huge momentum in the Indian Solar Industry but will also re-emphasise the importance of Solar energy in a commoner’s life and propel the country towards achieving Net Zero targets sooner than expected.”

On the prospects of the solar industry in the budget that has shown the way to achieve the RE goals, Rohit Tikku, CEO of Bluebird Solar, says, “I commend the government’s proactive approach towards sustainable energy showcased through the rooftop solarisation scheme announced by Prime Minister Modi and highlighted by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. This visionary initiative is a testament to India’s commitment to harnessing clean energy for the masses.”

He further said that by enabling one crore households to receive up to 300 units of free electricity monthly, the government is uplifting lives and steering the nation towards a greener and more sustainable future. The alignment of this scheme with the Prime Minister’s resolve on the historic day of the consecration of Shri Ram Mandir in Ayodhya adds a profound cultural and symbolic dimension to the endeavour.

Capt. Ishver Dholakiya, MD and Founder of Goldi Solar said, “We commend the Government of India for its 2024-25 forward-looking budget. At Goldi, we welcome the government’s initiative to offer 300 units of free electricity a month to thousands of households to promote rooftop solar. This will give every household an annual savings of Rs. 15,000 – 18,000 and catalyse renewable sector growth. While we await more positive announcements about manufacturing, imports, and technological advancements in the July budget, we thank our government for its relentless efforts to make India a global leader in responsible economic development.”

Key highlights of the budget include significant investments in renewable energy, infrastructure development, research and development (R&D), and measures aimed at promoting inclusive growth and sustainability.

SN Goel, Chairman and Managing Director of Indian Energy Exchange, said, “The budget promises unprecedented growth for India in the coming five years, focusing on the growth pillars of green energy and infrastructure development. It has laid the foundation for a resilient and sustainable energy future. The rooftop solarisation programme, which aims to provide 300 units of free power every month to 1 crore houses and an opportunity to sell surplus energy to DISCOMs, will take the solar energy programme to the grassroots level and lead to substantial savings for households. Additionally, the policy mandating phased blending of CBG for CNG and PNG will help greening the gas supply chain.”

Expressing his views, Rajesh Kumar Mediratta, MD & CEO of Indian Gas Exchange, said, “The budget has laid a roadmap for ensuring a green gas-based economy in India. The policy mandating the phased blending of CBG for CNG and PNG will help to green the gas supply chain and balance the demand-supply balance for clean fuels. Financial assistance for procuring biogas aggregation machinery would tremendously help energise the biofuel segment. We feel this budget has created a conducive environment for trading clean and eco-friendly biofuels, in alignment with India’s net-zero goals.”

Commenting on the government’s commitment to clean energy development, Satish Kumar, President & Executive Director of Alliance for an Energy-Efficient Economy, said, “The government’s unwavering commitment to fostering sustainable growth and inclusive development signifies a momentous milestone. Their dedicated focus on prioritising policies to enhance the affordability, accessibility, and availability of clean energy perfectly aligns with India’s strategic goal to establish energy efficiency as a cornerstone for the nation’s future. Optimism abounds as forthcoming reforms centre on sustainable and resilient growth, particularly in developing the electric vehicle (EV) ecosystem.”

He said, “The allocated funds for charging infrastructure and introducing new EV buses are positioned to play a pivotal role in realising India’s ambitious net-zero goals and effectively combating climate change. New construction must seamlessly integrate low-carbon and energy-efficient building practices to pave the way for a decarbonised built environment. AE stands prepared to collaborate with the government and other stakeholders, ensuring the successful implementation of these visionary initiatives.”

Bio-fuel remains one of the sectors contributing to the green energy goals. Welcoming the Budget announcements, Mahesh Girdhar, MD and CEO of EverEnviro Resource Management, said, “We welcome the steps outlined by the Finance Minister in the Interim Budget 2024-25 to boost the biofuel sector. The mandatory blending of Compressed bio-gas (CBG) into CNG and PNG will reduce dependency on traditional fossil fuels and promote efficient recycling of organic waste into valuable resources. Moreover, the launch of new schemes for bio-manufacturing and bio-foundry, along with financial assistance for biomass aggregation machinery procurement, reflects the government’s holistic approach towards promoting green growth and supporting the ‘Waste to Wealth’ mission.” He said these moves will further support CBG developers in boosting infrastructure, ensuring a reliable and sustained supply of Compressed BioGas. Overall, the budget reinforces the government’s commitment to sustainable energy transition through concrete policies and incentives for the biofuels industry.“

Industry leaders lauded the government’s forward-looking approach. They highlighted initiatives’ transformative potential, such as the rooftop solarisation scheme, Viability Gap Funding for offshore wind energy, and measures to promote clean energy.

Speaking on the Interim Budget, Vinay Thadani, Director and CEO of Grew Energy, said, “We welcome this budget presented by the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. With the target to achieve Net Zero by 2070, the focus is now on Green Energy. The country aims at energy security in terms of availability, accessibility and affordability. As emerging solar manufacturers and EPC players, this announcement motivates us to increase our solar PV module manufacturing and optimise EPC services. In synergy with measures announced today to achieve the 2070 target, adopting solar energy will enable India to secure the uninterrupted availability of energy sources at an affordable price.”

Commenting on the Budget, Sumant Sinha, Founder Chairman and CEO of ReNew, said, “This is a very welcome and forward-looking Vote on Account presented by the Finance Minister. The strategy reflects the Prime Minister’s vision of a modern, inclusive, resilient, innovative, green India. The continued thrust on capital expenditure and reduced market borrowings will accelerate private investments and employment creation. The budget balances growth with fiscal prudence.”

Apurve Goel, Director of Kundan Green Energy, expressed his views, saying, “We see the Union Budget 2024 highlights as progressive from the renewable energy and climate change mitigation perspective. My submission for the government to consider is the viability gap funding and overall availability of green finance for renewable energy, especially hydropower. Building a hydel plant costs two to three times more capital than solar or wind. Similarly, the gestation period is longer. Hydel plants are capital intensive and require a more robust and longer haul commitment.”

Rajiv Ranjan Mishra, Managing Director of Apraava Energy, opined that the Interim Budget 2024, presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, continues on India’s path of fiscal consolidation. It aims to lay the foundation for a ‘Viksit Bharat’ by focusing on inclusive growth and sustainability. “Underlining this priority, the government’s focus on encouraging skilling, health, energy security, MSME growth, as well as the increased capital expenditure by 11.1 percent, will position the nation as a manufacturing hub and an investor-friendly country,” he said.

Commenting on the announcement, Amit Jain, CEO and Country Manager India, Engie said, “Though an interim budget, the government must be applauded for placing a focus on infrastructural development, which will play a crucial role in further bolstering the envisaged Green growth of the government. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has ensured energy security, and the budget presents a blueprint for working towards accessibility, affordability, and availability as part of Amrit Kaal’s vision.”

He further said that the introduction of Viability Gap Funding for harnessing offshore wind energy potential, with an initial capacity of 1 GW, aligns with the expectations of the renewable energy sector and contributes to the overall vision of sustainable growth. The budget now presents the roadmap to explore wind energy beyond the coastline. Engie is eager and prepared to actively participate in and support this transformative move towards cleaner and more affordable energy solutions.

Aatmanirbharta and Viksit Bharat took centre stage in the budget, epitomising a visionary approach to India’s self-reliance and comprehensive development. The vision for an economically independent and developed India permeated every facet of the budget, showcasing a steadfast commitment to innovation, resilience, and transformative growth, positioning India as a global leader.

Raman Bhatia, Founder and Managing Director of Servotech Power Systems, said, “As a leading EV charger manufacturer, we applaud the strategic focus on the EV sector. The emphasis on creating business opportunities and generating employment marks a significant stride in accelerating sectoral growth. Government support for manufacturing and developing EV charging infrastructure is crucial for establishing a robust and widespread charging network.”

“We appreciate the Rooftop Solarisation+Muft Bijli and are hopeful that this forward-thinking scheme is a groundbreaking effort to democratise access to solar power, making clean energy an integral part of everyday life. Our ethos centres around making solar energy not only environmentally friendly but also economically viable, and we anticipate that this initiative will catalyse the transition towards renewable energy and provide a breakthrough in the energy sector,” he added.

Masood Mallick, CEO of Re Sustainability Limited (ReSL), expressed his views and said that the Interim Union Budget 2024 strongly aligns with India’s net-zero goal by 2070. With the 2030 target of 500 GW of renewable energy capacity clearly in sight, the budget lays a strong emphasis on rooftop solar, wind energy, and the phased mandatory blending of CBG with CNG and PNG and enhanced allocation to National Green Hydrogen Mission, the Indian waste management and resource recovery sector whole-heartedly welcomes these announcements.

He spoke on the biofuel sector, “We also welcome the government’s announcement of a new Bio-Manufacturing and Bio-Foundry scheme. We anticipate that this will aid a shift towards regenerative principles, resource conservation and, over time, a reduction in reliance on imports. This is especially relevant given the current geopolitical climate, associated resource security scenarios, and near-term supply chain disruption risks.”

Speaking on the steps taken in the renewable sector, Venkatesh R, managing director and director of energy business at Wärtsilä India, said, “The announcements made in Budget 2024 are encouraging steps in the right direction. The Finance Minister has allocated significant resources to bolster the green energy sector, focusing on harnessing India’s vast offshore wind energy potential. The emphasis on ‘Green Growth’ underscores the holistic approach, recognising the integral role of environmental sustainability in economic development.”

He further said, “Wärtsilä recently launched its report – ‘Every Second Counts’ for India, which covers the three crucial principles for policymakers and the wider energy industry to follow when designing our future power systems: Firstly, we need to ensure that we are choosing the right technologies. The build-out of wind and solar power must be matched with flexible grid balancing engines and energy storage to ensure the optimal, lowest-cost power mix. Secondly, we must design our energy markets to support flexibility, such as creating capacity markets to ensure developers receive a return on their investment, even if a plant runs intermittently to balance demand. And finally, we should introduce shorter time frames, i.e. using 15- or even 5-minute time resolution in the power market trading.” 

Moreover, the budget’s focus on bolstering research and innovation, enhancing infrastructure, and empowering various segments of society underscores a comprehensive vision for holistic development. The proposed initiatives aim to create employment opportunities, improve access to essential services, and strengthen India’s position as a global leader in responsible economic development.

Preeti Bajaj, CEO of Luminous Power Technologies, said that the focus on solar initiatives in the interim budget is an excellent move toward promoting green energy. Solar power ensures household electricity access and aligns seamlessly with our enduring commitment to environmental sustainability. “The ‘Panchamrit’ goals highlight the government’s dedication to strengthening resource-efficient growth, thereby supporting energy security regarding both availability and affordability. The visionary approach of rooftop solarisation benefiting one crore households is noteworthy, reflecting a holistic vision for a sustainable future,” she said.

She further said, “The commitment to creating employment opportunities for the youth, particularly those with technical skills, resonates deeply with our objective of cultivating a skilled and empowered workforce in the energy sector. These initiatives collectively set the stage for a transformative and sustainable energy landscape, aligning with our vision for a greener and brighter tomorrow.”

Commenting on the Budget, Davinder Sandhu, Co-Founder and Chairman of Primus Partners, said, “Suryodaya Yojana will bring democratisation of rooftop solar to India’s rural housing as an effective step for affordable and sustainable electric power.”

Expressing his views on Deepak Sharma, MD, CEO and Zone President, Greater India Schneider Electric, said, “The interim budget provides a robust blueprint for Viksit Bharat. It comprehensively addresses all sectors of the economy, with a specific emphasis on fostering innovation, research, and entrepreneurship. Setting up a corpus of 1 Lakh crore and providing a 50-year low-interest loan for tech-savvy youth will scale up research and innovation. The budget demonstrates a noteworthy commitment to sustainability, particularly in the energy sector.”

He said that the promotion of solar rooftop installations, provision of 300 units of free power every month to 1 crore households, mandatory blending of Compressed Biogas (CBG) with CNG and PNG, and incentives for Offshore wind energy will ensure energy accessibility, affordability, and availability.

Pratik Agarwal, Managing Director of Sterlite Power, said, “The budget’s emphasis on R&D is path-breaking. The substantial 1 lac crore corpus, paired with a 50-year interest-free loan, presents a significant incentive for the private sector to scale up R&D investments in sunrise domains. Implementation here will be the key to realising the full potential of this opportunity.”

Sanchit Sekhwal Goyal, Director, Su-Kam Power Systems Limited, is delighted with the Budget announcement. He said, “We are very pleased to find that renewable energy has been a focus area for government spending in the Interim Budget. The comprehensive plan aimed at achieving the nation’s ambitious Net Zero target by 2070 in the Interim Budget 2024 is encouraging and will steer the country towards a greener future. The Finance Minister’s push for rooftop solar by assisting with the installation of rooftop solar systems for one crore households under the Pradhan Mantri Suryodaya Yojana will spur demand in the industry, and more and more people will be encouraged to opt for renewable energy.”

As the nation embarks on this transformative journey, the post-budget reactions reflect a shared optimism and determination to build a brighter, more resilient future for all.

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