The rising air pollution has again captured the attention of the government and ecologists together to encourage the use of non-conventional energy resources.
Since clean energy has been used for almost everything, from generating electricity to heat water, it has created new and massive business opportunities for green energy entrepreneurs.
Setting up and managing a renewable energy business can provide a lucrative opportunity to participate in this growing sector, while providing a better solution to limit the dependence on depleting reserves of fossil fuels.
In order to create green energy easily and promptly accessible to people, the domain requires savvy entrepreneurs who with their innovative ideas, quick action and willingness to take risks, can reap generous profits from the production and sale of energy.
Though there are countless entrepreneurial opportunities in the energy space, the biggest challenge is to make them viable. Large scale opportunities using wind, solar or biomass require significant global investments in promoting hi-tech solutions and establishing new business models, making it hostile for the startups with financing issues.
However, new entrants in this domain looking for profits are enthusiastic to take advantage of the government’s initiative to provide funding and financing for startup and offering incentives to boost entrepreneurship and job creation in India.
Growth Drivers in Energy Space
There are several opportunities at all stages of the ladder in the supply chain of renewable energy. With the rapid growth of solar water heating in urban areas, now solar UPS and solar street lighting are picking up. Moreover, making of small scale wind energy and hybrid plants is also taking steady pace in India.
Another opportunity, bio fuel industry, which is already a $2 trillion industry, for making cleaner fuels, is ready to welcome entrepreneurs.
Bio fuel Emerged as a Reliable Alternative
In India, the scope for substitution of a considerable amount of conventional energy fuel in meeting the rapidly growing need for transportation and electric power generation by biodiesel is huge and a clear trend in that direction has already started.
Since 2000, the production of bio-fuel has more than doubled, while the production of biodiesel has expanded almost four folds. And since then, the production and consumption of bio-fuels have experienced a noteworthy growth both in the scale of the industry and the number of nations involved.
The odd-even scheme in Delhi has again prompted entrepreneurial-minded individuals to understand the future demand and growth of cleaner fuel in India and hence many entrepreneurs have planned to venture into bio fuel industry. The use of ethanol as a fuel for internal combustion engines, either alone or in a blend with gasoline has doable environmental and lasting economic benefits over fossil fuels.
Also, it is expected that the use of ethanol as an automotive fuel will give boost to the agricultural sector as well as benefit the oil industry in the long-run. There are a lot of prospects and several industrialists have entered in this space for offering end-to-end solutions.
Potential for SMEs
The Indian biofuel industry is growing rapidly with great potential for all level enterprises. According to Goldman Sachs report, India ranked fifth in the world ethanol production chart next to the European Union, China, US and Brazil. Moreover, a latest study by Ernst & Young’s says that India ranks second on the solar index, third in the wind index and fourth in renewable index, which shows that there is a fertile ground for small and medium enterprises to invest in renewable energy.
Currently, India is combating environmental issues such as air pollution and global warming and tries every possible effort to encourage active businesses in this industry, particularly those who are in bio fuel utilisation, in order to fulfil the incessant demand of power supply and alternative fuels.
Develop A Business Plan
Future green energy segment requires educated and enthusiastic entrepreneurs succeed in this sector. If you have decided to start your own renewable energy business, look around if other businesses in the other parts of the world, offering a similar product or service, before devising your own plan.
Using fundamentals of those enterprises for developing your own business plan will assist you to thrive in the long run. Always analyze cost and revenue projections for establishing your business.
Financing Your Business
Once you have finished your business plan, arrange and submit grant proposals to private and federal granting organizations to obtain necessary start-up funding. Build strong relationship with green-tech-friendly angel investors, venture capitalists and government organizations and carefully investigate them before submitting grant proposals.
Moreover, promote your services to small and medium enterprises alike to cover all the prospective sources of income for your green energy business.
You can provide them long-term maintenance contracts to create long-lasting relationships with clients and secure a supplementary source of income. While it can take some time to receive approval from private investors, one can avail the generous tax incentives for clean energy installations provided by the government.
Government Support to Entrepreneurs
The bio fuel industry is being promoted aggressively by the Government of India. To assist you to become a leader in this domain, both the Centre and the States governments are doing combined efforts and have instigated several development programmes such as National Bio-diesel Mission (NBM).
Also, in order to boost cleaner fuel (bio-fuel) production in India and to stop piling up of surplus sugar stocks, the government decided to make 10 percent blending of ethanol with petrol mandatory. There are several states in India such as Punjab and Haryana, which have an abundance of grains wasted every year.
In an estimate, it was revealed that the government has 40 to 50 per cent of rice waste which can be utilized for ethanol blending. Moreover, these states have a massive availability of sub-standard grains such as maize, jowar, broken rice and bajra that are being used to make biofuel. Apart from these, the, Start-up, Stand up India initiative by government to support young entrepreneurs with fresh ideas would help in catalyzing new renewable enterprises.
The Indian renewable energy scenario is gradually, yet decisively, moving away from policy driven to parity driven, and hence more entrepreneurs are stepping forward with an insight to lighten India in eco-friendly way.
Entrepreneurs, who had a vision, a plan and an approach for initial capital funding, are on their way to becoming a non-conventional energy entrepreneur.
Those who have good knowledge and expertise in this domain and are ready to work in an extremely cut-throat environment in terms of costs and quality will only survive in this domain.
This field requires people who can educate customers on the benefits of renewable energy and convince them to spend money on their product or service. Though the job is challenging, it will sustain their livelihood as well as of individuals all across the country for many generations to come.