Manpower, Machine, Money will make SMEs more confident
Energy conservation in the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) segment is essential for achieving India's Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) under the Paris Agreement. Experts predict that by 2050, India’s carbon emissions will largely be from this sector. India is committed to building low carbon pathways and accelerate the adoption of clean technologies to ensure emission intensity is reduced by 33- 35% by 2030. And for this, SMEs need support. The thematic track on Energy Management Solutions for SMEs at the World Sustainable Development Summit 2020 organised by The Energy & Resource Institute (TERI) discussed the efforts that are being undertaken by TERI, Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) in collaboration with Japanese energy institutions such as Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Kansai Research Centre and the Ministry of Environment, Japan (MOEJ).
Mr. Milind Deore, Director, BEE, outlined the need for energy conservation in SMEs. He said for SMEs, there is no specific data available on energy consumption but as per analysis, SMEs account for around 20% of the total industrial energy foundation and in India, it is one of the key sectors contributing to economic growth. The Energy Conservation Guidelines for the MSME Sector developed by BEE last year is a good guiding tool that comes with free energy audit service and an additional subsidy scheme to invest in energy saving equipment by MOEJ. The low-carbon technology (LCT) matchmaking program JITMAP jointly implemented by the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies and TERI with support from MOEJ is an example of how low carbon technology is being transferred from Japanese to Indian companies through networking, awareness, information on financial support, regulations, policies etc. The other platform provided by Japan is the Blue Sky Initiative, a clean and low-carbon technology transfer into India.
JICA, with extensive power sector experience, is the other entity that is helping India’s SME sector with schemes in energy efficiency, renewable energy development, power production, and human resource development. JICA supports the view that energy savings is critical for SMEs given that they have limited financial support & technical know-how.
Speaking of collaborations in the realm of energy efficiency, Dr. Ajay Mathur, Director General, TERI, underscored the need for technology and a robust business model that SMEs can adopt and achieve energy efficiency. He said the partnership with Japan is extremely crucial in making Indian SMEs financially independent.
There was consensus that government, institutes, and donor bodies need to work in collaboration to build on the on-going initiatives undertaken in the SME sector. There is also a need to strengthen their business models, man-power and technical knowledge by learning from international best practices.