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India's Path to Net Zero: Technology Will Build Balance Between Growth and Sustainability Sustainability should not be seen as a trade-off with growth but rather as a multifaceted goal that can drive long-term benefits

By Entrepreneur Staff

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For the second consecutive year, India is poised to register the largest growth in CO2 emissions among major economies, with coal contributing around 44 per cent to energy sources and petroleum and others around 24 per cent.

At the Tech and Innovation Summit in Bangalore, organized by Entrepreneur Media, Nashim Akhtar, Director of EV Program and New Initiatives, Log9 said that India can balance growth and sustainability, the importance of a holistic approach to sustainability, integrating business health, societal good, and climate considerations. Adding that sustainability should not be seen as a trade-off with growth but rather as a multifaceted goal that can drive long-term benefits.

"The inevitability of adopting sustainable practices due to the real impacts of climate change. The Indian government's 2070 net-zero target and technological advancements could help achieve this goal sooner with the dramatic cost reduction in solar energy, now cheaper than coal, as a result of rapid adoption and technological improvement", said Amit Barve, Business Unit Head for Solar and Industry Vertical at Panasonic India.

Tech: A Modern Solution

Nashim highlighted the importance of digitalization in raising awareness and enabling stakeholders to track their carbon footprints. Technology helps people and businesses understand their current emissions and identify opportunities for improvement, which is crucial for informed decision-making. "Tech or digitization is helping us to discover where we are currently. That is the basic fundamental purpose of any tech that we are trying to induce in sustainability".

Bridging the Funding Gap for Green Initiatives

The discussion also touched upon the financial aspects of green technology. While speaking on this, Amit shared the initial challenges of funding solar projects in India. "In 2011, funding was a significant hurdle. The government had to step in with SPVs to channel funds through entities like NTPC and SECI. Today, the performance of these projects has improved, and funding is no longer an issue."

Further, adding to this, Nashim highlighted the importance of understanding and managing risks. "The key issue is risk. Capital providers are hesitant because they don't fully understand the risks associated with new technologies. Engaging with reinsurance companies, who specialize in risk management, has been crucial in gaining their confidence."

Consumer Adoption And Supply Chain

Amit acknowledged that while consumer adoption of environmentally friendly products has been slow, increased awareness and accessible financing are driving growth. Panasonic's commitment to sustainability through initiatives like the Green Impact campaign aims for net-zero operations by 2030. "Currently, if you see the way the government is pushing with different schemes and other things, that awareness level is also going high. And especially in solar, what we have found is that there is a good amount of niche customers who do understand their role in society towards the net zero, or at least helping the environment to make it better".

Further while speaking regarding supply chain and in-house solutions Amit said "The first goal, our internal goal, we have decided is by 2030, we want to make all our operating units globally net zero. And I'm very happy to say that almost 30 units are getting converted to 100% renewables by next year".

Ensuring the Right Market Fit

Finally, Nashim emphasized the importance of market fit. "A mismatch often occurs when innovators, who understand the technology, don't align with the market needs. A good mix of business acumen and technical expertise is essential to ensure that the right products reach the right markets."

Entrepreneur Staff

Entrepreneur Staff

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