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2019-12-26 / HFE

#Power2Think | Profit for Purpose

In a world of startups and everyone wanting to be their own boss, Entrepreneurship in the present context and Profit for Purpose are 2 very important things to keep in mind. During the course of this article, I would like to share my insights for millennials who are ready to set up their own businesses, challenges and how every business needs to serve a valuable purpose while continuing to generate profit.

I started Hero Future Energies 7 years back with a purpose in mind. I solely believe that if you have the opportunity to make a change in the world, why shouldn’t you? While the government is doing its bit for a better society, they’re still restricted to their capabilities and even though NGOs and social enterprises are working towards the same, they cannot go around begging for money all the time. Talking about the role of a business towards this change, I believe that you have to have significant businesses with a profit motive. They should have a large size, they should be authentic, the purpose should be genuine, they should be profitable, so they can scale up and they should be very serious, that’s how you make a profit with a purpose.

Currently, about 63% of millennial workers prefer businesses that focussed on improving society and not just generating profits. While it is essential for a company to generate profits, it is also important for the company to serve its purpose towards society. In my opinion, companies that fulfil that purpose and responsibilities are ultimately being rewarded much higher or much larger through the end customers, through the investor, through the public as well as private markets. So, it’s not only being done for the good of society, it’s being done for a profit motive as well and for your investment motive so, they all go hand-in-hand.

In terms of challenges, there are mainly 3 challenges that one faces when starting a new business. Firstly, you meet a lot of pessimistic people along the way and less who believe in you or what you’re doing and in those moments, it is important to believe in yourself, your business and keep working towards it. Second, is the dream team. It is important to keep changing the members of the team until you have a set of people that are aligned with your goal and vision. It is also important to keep changing and growing the team as and when meeting the goal and size of business increases. Third and last is to stay extremely true to your plan. People often deviate from the original business plan due to offshoots in the business, which might increase profits momentarily, but won’t sustain the business.

To conclude, in a world where everything is measured by numbers, it is important to measure success too, since numbers do happen to tell a story. I can proudly say that Hero Future Energies has been able to save 60 tonnes equivalent of carbon emissions until now. Keeping the society and sustainability at the forefront, companies like Amazon, Walmart, eBay have become part of RE100, promising to function sustainably to the hilt. In order to be able to move forward, it is important for upcoming entrepreneurs to keep profit for purpose of their business as their utmost priority.

Listen to the podcast here - Profit For Purpose

Author - Rahul Munjal, Chairman and Managing Director,Hero Future Energies

 

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2018-10-10 / HFE

The Solar way to power.

When the first hand-held, solar-powered calculators were introduced at the end of the 1970s, little did we realise that this technology would revolutionise the power sector in the twenty first century.

Solar is maturing fast as a mainstream energy source. In India, such a statement would have been nothing short of fiction some time ago.

In contrast, today India is home to the headquarters of the International Solar Alliance (ISA), which has 121 countries as its members. The first Assembly of the ISA is scheduled to take place from 3-5 October 2018 in Delhi, and will have attendees at the Ministerial level from 68 member nations. That should tell you something about the momentum solar has gathered in the country. ISA’s significance extends beyond India. Member Nations are witnessing a surge in investments and job creation in their economies thanks to this impetus behind solar. With an increased focus in R&D in renewables, it is becoming more efficient and affordable – an excellent yet equally necessary combination.

The recent past has been encouraging. As of August 2018, cumulative solar (grid connected) installations in India have surpassed 25 GW, with close to 5 GW being installed in the first half of this year alone. The near future is expected to witness an even greater thrust in growth as solar moves from vanilla grid connected projects to newer and more innovative forms of use.

In India, solar is firing on all cylinders or – one might say – making hay while the sun shines. India launched its first wind-solar hybrid plant in April 2018 to help optimise power generated from renewable energy sources, while record low tariffs are making rooftop solar a viable option. Commercial rooftop solar projects are also picking up pace in India, with overall rooftop solar projects now at 2.5 GW. India’s National Solar Mission (NSM) which was quite successful in driving the local PV market to attain third position globally last year, the nation is eyeing similar success in energy storage. The increasing adoption of lithium ion battery in the renewable power generation system, which enhances reliability and flexibility of the system, is likely to escalate the demand for energy storage solutions. By combining the above innovations we can reduce the intermittency of renewable power. For example, we are developing wind-solar hybrid plants with storage and working to optimise their Plant Load Factor (PLF).

With the government’s plan to electrify all of India’s villages, there is a huge potential to provide decentralised solar solutions in the remote corners of the country with shorter transmission lines. If the private sector is encouraged, results could be electrifying. Just as India has leapfrogged from limited landline connectivity straight into a mobile revolution in rural areas, it could see the same phenomenon with these decentralised microgrids.

ISA is an extremely noble idea whose time has come. The industry is both highly competitive and cooperative. The key to renewable energy future is greater collaboration. The exchange of knowledge and technology will enable greater inflow of capital and employment for all member nations involved and the prospective Member Nations of ISA. As we continue to find and explore synergies, our goal should be to power the entire world with renewable energy 24X7.

 

Contributed by

Rahul Munjal
Chairman & Managing Director, Hero Future Energies Ltd, India

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2016-06-30 / HFE

For renewable energy to thrive, we need to think big

Renewable at the fore

Renewable energy is serious business and a gradual transformation to green energy is non-negotiable in order to avert an environmental catastrophe. World over, more and more people are accepting and adopting green energy alternatives into their daily routine. This has been ably supported by government agencies. Even though the levelized cost of generating clean energy is high as compared to conventional methods, the marginal cost of producing output through solar and wind is almost zero.

Germany, the undisputed leader

Today, several countries are proactively embracing the opportunity to switch to greener alternatives. Germany offers a great example in this context, replacing fossil fuels with wind and solar energy. Deriving around 27% of its power from renewables, the country has found significant support from public for its energiewende initiative – an aggressive transition with a goal to produce 80% of electricity from clean sources by 2050. Encouraging a culture to promote the growth of renewables, a collective desire to abandon nuclear power plants and regulations permitting citizens to profit from selling their energy to the grid are all efforts in creating the right ecosystem. Preferential access to renewables has resulted in wholesale power prices to slump.

China – the manufacturing hub for renewables

Not far away, China – the world’s workshop for wind and solar, invested $110.5 bn in clean energy in 2015, making it highest among all the countries, according to a study by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF). Among other factors, the government’s commitment to replace heavily polluting thermal power plants and a reduction in its feed-in tariff policy for onshore wind farms, contributed significantly to this tall order.

Progressive reforms in Japan & the USA

Likewise, Japan has also recently amended its feed in tariff (FIT) policy under Act on Special Measures for Renewable Energy, to expedite and promote the use of solar on a wider scale. The revised regulations come into force post April 2017, include a new certification system and a new tendering program for PV projects, making tariffs more competitive. An ambitious 80 GW of PV capacity has been approved, out of which 34 GW is already constructed. Industry veterans are optimistic about the future of solar in Japan and are hopeful that it will cross 100 GW by 2030.

In the US, California has passed a landmark climate bill SB 350, to implement clean energy on a larger scale over the next 15 years. The bill aims to build energy efficiency in the state by 50% by 2030.

India, fastly catching up

India’s leadership in establishing the International Solar Alliance (ISA) which was launched at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris (COP 21), is a part of the government’s big bet on solar. The aim of the ISA is “to address the specific needs of the solar resource rich countries located between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn.”

The government’s commitment to the growth of renewable and its efforts have fructified, by attracting an 80% rise in solar power financing that now stands at $5.6 billion. India’s target of 175 GW of renewable energy generation by 2022, got off to a good start with nearly 12 GW likely to be installed by 2017. At the beginning of this year, the government asserted sanctioning of 30% capital subsidy for rooftop solar installations to residential, government, social and institutional segments, which is expected to support total rooftop capacity of 4,200 MW till this budget is exhausted.

The push for decentralized renewable solutions like mini grid, in additional to solar, is expected to generate 500 MW of power to supply energy to the farthest corner. However, the ultimate success of India’s big bet on solar will require focus on research, affordable project financing, and viable solar projects that will pass on the benefit to end consumers.

As we stand today, both solar and wind integration into the grid faces resistance from grid operators. However as our economy grows , grid size increases and new technologies related to scheduling and forecasting are in place, integration issues are likely to be resolved. Initiatives by the current ministry, like green corridor and emphasizing on improving the overall infrastructure is likely to smoothen the last tumbling block.

Energy surplus – not a figment anymore

Very recently, Germany experienced a phenomenon of energy surplus, wherein the output actually exceeded the national demand. This was possible due to higher contribution from renewable energy generating facilities. Similar feat was observed in Denmark last year.

As they say, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. It’s early days yet for the renewable energy sector, but with the necessary action plans in place, can India become an energy surplus nation in near future, emulating on the lines of Germany?

Contributed by Rahul Munjal, Founder and Managing Director, Hero Future Energies

2016-03-04 / HFE

Analysis of Budget 2016 for Renewable Sector

     

In my view, this year #VikasKaBudget is focused on the progress of the rural sector. Transforming India with a PRO Rural and PRO poor agenda, with an allocation of Rs. 87,769 crores where 5,542 villages have already been electrified, many more than the last three years combined and with an aim to make 100% of the village electrified by May 2018. This will have a extremely positive impact on the demand for electricity.

By renaming Clean Energy cess to Clean Environment cess and with a 200% increase on Coal cess the exchequer will collect over Rs.15000 crore which should be used to encourage energy storage solutions.

On a macro level, I am especially appreciative of the Railway Budget. Under it, railway stations will now be equipped with solar power and will provide much-needed clean power. In my opinion IT is changing the face of traditional business, thanks to leaders like Suresh P Prabhu. I was happy to hear Mr. Prabhu talk about speedy implementation on freight corridors.

The union budget has also implemented major tax and other reforms for start-ups, which will encourage new entrepreneurs and exploit the potential in India’s youth. Overall, Budget 2016 looks promising and we hope that it will provide the desired impetus to the Indian economy and specially to the Renewable sector.

At a Special Programe conducted by NDTV India Post Budget 2016

Contributed by Rahul Munjal, Founder & MD, Hero Future Energies

2016-01-27 / HFE

Renewables at the forefront post COP 21

It’s not very often that the entire global community shares one common concern and decides to act upon it. And when that happens, it is a landmark moment that draws commitment from almost every country. Climate change has impacted every continent and for almost 2 decades now, diplomats from the United Nations have been working towards creating an agreement that convinces countries across the world to lower planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions and thereby restrict the implications of climate change.

In early December 2015, for the first time 195 participating countries at the Conference of Parties (COP) 21 held in Paris, reached an agreement to address environmental challenges faced by all nations. The most prominent takeaway was reducing the dependence of fossil fuel and cutting greenhouse emission levels to limit the rise in global temperature to below 2°C, over pre-industrial times. A common line of argument in the Paris Agreement is that developed countries should take the lead with economy-wise reduction targets while developing nations should aspire to cut emissions over a period of time, taking into account their need for development.

Renewable energy critical to India’s growth story

A fast-developing nation, India, will need more energy in future and there is a prevailing uncertainty over its energy usage patterns and technological changes. Traditionally, international agreements drive domestic actions in countries. The Paris Agreement will result in mandatory procedures being set in and iterative processes adapted across countries, leading to greater shifts towards a low carbon future.

India has asserted to reduce the emission intensity of its GDP by a third from its 2005 levels by 2030. Renewable energy emerges as a major potential gainer to achieve this intention, as India’s target is to have nearly 40% of its power from renewable sources by 2030 from the existing 13%.

The government’s ‘Make in India’ drive, too, nudges the need for renewables. This ambitious vision cannot succeed without 24×7 power supply to all including industrial units across the country. At the moment, uninterrupted power supply is a far cry with less than normal capacity utilization of thermal power plants. The availability of energy is bound to have a rippling effect on the manufacturing sector that will create jobs for the 13 million youth population entering the job market every year. The government also recognizes that foreign investors will be reluctant to enter the territory, unless the infrastructure related bottlenecks are resolved – energy being a primary concern.

The need for renewable energy spreads across sectors and several government programme’s. 100 Smart cities, for instance, can not be developed with out renewables. Harnessing solar and wind to power these smart cities will not only reduce the burden on conventional energy sources and the power grid, but also make way for a low carbon future. Buildings account for 40 per cent of the world’s energy consumption. A smart building that uses smart technology like rooftop solar or wind has the potential to save up to 40 per cent of the energy use.

Promising times ahead

Beginning last year, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy announced plans to add 175 GW of renewable energy by 2022. This includes 100 GW of solar energy at the cost of $ 100 billion, 60 GW of wind energy, 10 GW in bio-fuel plants and the remaining in small hydel. These ambitious targets have made India a fast growing market for photovoltaics.

Hero Future Energies (HFE), part of the Hero Group, supports this vision and aims to be a major contributor and a partner towards achieving the goal of boosting power generation through clean energy resources. With a cumulative installed capacity of over 260 MW allready commmsioned and 300 MW under construction for this year across wind, solar and rooftop solar projects across 10 states in India.

The ongoing efforts initiated by the new government at the Centre has raised India to the third position outstripping Germany in the Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index (RECAI) released by Ernst and Young (E&Y) in September 2015. RECAI measures the attractiveness of renewable energy investment and deployment opportunities among countries.
For the clean energy sector, this is an opportune time with the government promoting its usage on a grand scale. It is therefore important that all stakeholders to capitalize on this and help push India’s growth trajectory even higher.

COP 21 key takeaways

  • 195 countries adopted the agreement, with 188 countries submitting their voluntary climate action plan ahead of the summit.
  • Rise in global temperature to be limited to below 2°C, over pre industrial times and to limit to 1.5°C above preindustrial levels by end of 2100.
  • $100 billion a year in climate finance for developing countries by 2020, with a commitment to further finance in the future.
  • Progress will be reviewed every five years.

Contributed by Rahul Munjal, Founder & MD, Hero Future Energies

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