India will see a huge demand for renewable energy that far outweighs even its current output, according the chief executive of one of the country’s leading businesses.
Ravi Kailas, the founder of Mytrah Energy Limited, spent four years assessing the Indian power market and the potential the country had for wind.
The businessman, who has more than 25 years’ experience in the telecom, software and real estate industries, feels he was right to start the enterprise, since the company has now been able to produce 578MW of power since 2010.
But he said the country’s energy-generating potential is a tenth of what it could be, were the country to move away from its original sources of energy such as coal and nuclear, and on to renewables.
He said: “Renewable output in India is about 30GW – we should be closer to 300GW. Historically in India the major sources of energy have been coal then gas and nuclear and then renewables.
“We realised the renewables industry – this is a market that’s going to develop.”
Mytrah was first listed on the London Stock Exchange in 2010, raising $80million from institutional investors including Blackrock and Capital Group.
In the past six years, $570million has helped to fund the construction of more than 500MW of renewable power in the country.
The company has one goal in mind – to provide 5,000MW of power across India.
The company sells power mainly to state grids through 13 to 25 year Power Purchase Agreements.
It also has the largest wind data bank in India as the only independent power producer that has 120 wind masts across the country.
He said the company’s aspirations over the past five years has been influenced by how the size of the industry itself has changed not just in India, but across the globe.
“When looking at renewables and what works – it has to be economical; it has to be in scale. The growth for renewables in the next seven years is equal to all the other sources of power and that has different advantages and it actually has an effect, changing the market in terms of placement and production.
“The one thing that has helped us change our outlook over the past five years is that the size of the industry itself has changed. The rate of growth in the renewable industry has outstripped the predicted growth”, Kailas added.
One industry which has also been transformed in the past year in India has been the oil and gas sector.
Kailas said the lower oil price, which has impacted on business globally, has bucked the trend in India.
Lower prices have led to a boost in everything from stocks to car sales.
He said: “In India the oil and gas industry impact has always been on transportation, because India imports 80% of its oil. The reducing oil price has had a good impact on India in that it has reduced the price for transportation and airline stocks and car sales have picked up.”
Mytrah has created 578MW of India since the company’s inception, spread across six states – Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
The company also benefits from the lower cost of infrastructure investment in India, compared with Europe and the US.
For now, Myrtah is focusing on its growth in India, which Kailas said had far exceeded its expectations.
He added: “We hoped the business would do well but the success we have had and the growth in renewables is beyond our own imagination.
“It’s been an incredible experience, because of the people who came in at the time. It has been a very humbling experience.”