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P. K. Ranade, Chairman and Managing Director, Advance Metering Technology Limited (AMTL)

04 Nov 2016

In an attempt to keep Infraline Energys’ readers abreast with the key issues and challenges engulfing the sector, Infraline Energy tries to bring forth the opinion of key personnel whose decisions and opinion play a vital role in shaping the sector. Please find below excerpts from the interview that Infraline Energy conducted :

India to be a strong growth driver in global energy demand Advance Metering Technology Limited (AMTL) is on a growth path. The Noida-based company recently formed a strategic tie-up with Grasslin Gmbh – a subsidiary of US electrical product MNC Intermatic Inc – to bring energy efficient technologies in India. Speaking to InfralinePlus, AMTL’s Chairman and Managing Director, P. K. Ranade, talks of why India is expected to be a big market for energy efficient technologies in future and the key growth drivers. Excerpts:

What is your outlook on the energy sector in India? What are the key growth drivers according to you?

Energy consumption in India has almost doubled since 2000 and the sector has high growth potential. India’s per capita electricity consumption has been continuously increasing over the years. However, the country’s per capita electricity consumption is about 1/3rd of the global average. Further, India uses only 6% of the world’s primary energy, even though its houses 18% of the world’s population. This offers tremendous scope for growth in future. Coal, however, is the most dominant fuel in the energy mix and there is a strong government push to increase share of renewable energy in the energy basket. India has also recently ratified the Paris Agreement which underlines its commitment to a growing role for low-carbon sources of energy led by solar and wind power. According to reports, India will be a major contributor to global energy demand by 2040. While energy use is projected to decline in other developed countries including China, India will emerge as a strong growth driver in global energy demand and all modern fuels and technologies are expected to play a role. With a major push towards creation of new infrastructure and urbanisation, India’s energy requirements will also see an upswing. Initiatives like “Power for All” and “Make in India” will also act as strong growth drivers.

The company recently entered the solar EPC business. What kind of opportunities are you looking at in this segment?

The EPC business will be a strong growth area for us. We recently bagged a contract in Noida to develop green building for an IT company on turnkey basis. The entire package for the project will be executed by us such as civil and electrical works, designing, engineering as well as water treatment, waste disposal and Solar PV. We have developed strong in-house expertise to execute solar turnkey projects which will serve as a one-stop shop providing complete range of building products and solutions. AMTL is now ready to offer turnkey and retrofit solutions to IT business buildings across the country. A target of 175 GW to be achieved by 2022 and India’s global commitment to increase share of non-fossil fuels to 40% in its electricity generation by 2030 are strong growth drivers for the solar EPC industry. I feel the industry is on a major growth curve and there are numerous opportunities in this segment for EPC players. With falling solar tariffs no longer an exception but a trend, the need of the hour is to have a strong and robust EPC industry in India which can sustain delivery both in terms of time and quality. The ‘Solar revolution’ in India can only succeed if it is adequately supported by a strong EPC segment.

Please share your manufacturing plans for energy meters and panels. What is the capacity of your manufacturing facility? Is it sufficient to meet demand?

AMTL has invested in production capacity infrastructure over the past few years and has been able to deliver a double digit percentage year on year growth consistently. We are currently in a position to deliver more than 2 million meters annually and at the same time more capacity is being added to cater to the demand generated by the aggressive electrification schemes of the Government. We feel that the demand in the short term is significantly more than the supply capacity available. However, this will reach a saturation point when the electrification schemes reach their peak deployment rate in the medium term.

How can energy audit and energy management benefit the industry?

Energy audit and energy management is a critical area for organisations and utilities. Given the strong emphasis of the Government on energy efficiency and energy conservation, it is imperative to conduct regular audits to assess the trends in energy consumption as well as provide solutions to reduce energy usage through use of energy-efficient products and solutions. Energy Audit is the key to a systematic approach for decision-making process in the area of energy management. It attempts to balance the total energy inputs with its use, and serves to identify all the energy streams in a facility. It quantifies energy usage according to its discrete functions. Industrial energy audit is an effective tool in defining and pursuing comprehensive energy management programme. We provide energy audit services to organisations in various sectors such as industries, hospitality, IT, BPO & Malls and office buildings. The scope of the audit includes electrical energy audit, thermal energy audit, Thermography of LT & HT System, Power Quality Analysis and Water Audit. In addition, Perform Achieve Trade (PAT) assistance, support for energy efficiency enhancement projects and trainings to improve Energy Efficiency are some of the other focus areas.

What are the technological offerings of AMTL that can help India in its quest for clean technologies?

We are an energy-centric organization with focus on ensuring a greener and cleaner economy with a three pronged approach, namely Generation of power from renewable sources, manufacturing of world class energy monitoring devices and Energy Audit Services. Recently, we have entered into a tie-up with Grässlin Gmbh, Germany, (a subsidiary of Intermatic, USA) to expand our presence in the electrical equipment market. After this tie-up, we are now distributing electrical products across India such as time switches, light and temperature control solutions. To give you an example, the time switch technology is unique for it makes life easier, safer and helps save energy efficiently in residential, office, commercial and industrial buildings. DIN- rail and universal time switches offer diverse use options both indoors and outdoors, for central switching of different rooms, vacation programs and universal switching tasks in switching stations, in machine controls or specific solutions such as swimming pool or sprinkler system controls. Similarly, light controls offer the highest possible degree of functionality, switch separately for the desired situation in residential, office, commercial and industrial buildings and outdoors and at the same time ensure noticeably improved energy efficiency.

India is projected to become the largest market for LEDs in India. Please share your outlook and growth plans in this regard.

There is no doubt that India has witnessed a stellar growth in the LED market in the last few years. A strong government support coupled with introduction of innovative LED lighting products by manufacturers has resulted in reduction in prices of these products, thereby offering consumers with more options to choose from depending on their needs and preferences. Increasing focus on energy efficiency to reduce carbon footprints, rising income and smart city development are some of the key triggers for the growth of LED lighting industry. The Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All (UJALA) scheme which aims at replacing all inefficient bulbs with energy-efficient lamps has been instrumental in bringing about this change. AMTL has been developing its portfolio of LED products and has been active in the B2B segment so far. Retail has been a part of our plans and we will be introducing products in the market as a part of our retail expansion.

AMTL also has presence in generation of renewable energy. Please outline your existing portfolio and growth plans in this regard.

AMT currently owns and operates 11.7 MW of wind power.This supplies energy to the state grid. We are currently evaluating options for expansion either via a greenfield project in Solar or Wind or a strategic acquisition of an existing project.

Infraline Energy would like to thank the contributor for his/her valuable time and opinion shared on the topic.