Budget 2021: Greater focus on power infrastructure is key to clean energy transition

2021 seems to be the year of social and economic recovery for India. As the government rolls out mass inoculation measures, markets are rallying with hopes of getting back on the ambitious growth trajectory with a focus on manufacturing, services, and infrastructure development.

We believe the upcoming Union Budget for 2021-2022 is a good opportunity to advance efforts in clean energy and reiterate our commitment to reducing carbon emissions. Given the impetus for Atmanirbhar Bharat, greater emphasis on power can lay the foundation for long-term growth opportunities, create jobs and attract foreign investments.

However, to achieve these goals, certain bottlenecks from infrastructure to the fiscal and regulatory framework will first need to be addressed. Promoting quality infrastructure for smart mobility, modernization of the grid, reforms in the grid code, and a boost to manufacturing and large-scale projects can give a fillip to the power sector.

With a new government in the US re-joining the Paris Climate Agreement, there will be a renewed focus on global clean energy. Already the mission to reduce our carbon footprint has given a strong push for sustainable mobility worldwide. Electric mobility is the future, and reduction or rationalization of the existing duty structure on urban transport-related goods will go a long way in the adoption of such means of transport. We expect to see substantial support from the government through incentives and tax rebates to the mobility sector to further encourage the acceptance of smart technology by fleet operators.

Further, legal regulations and state support measures are nudging local fleet operators and State Transport Corporations (STU) to deploy EVs extensively. But there remains an urgent need to set up large-scale charging infrastructure across the country. Today, public fleet-level charging infrastructure is largely amiss even though it is crucial for the country to cut carbon emissions and embed smart mobility. STUs will need adequate support to embrace IT-supported depot management systems that give operators higher control over their fleet, efficiently planning and controlling their routine operations.

In addition to this, if we are to significantly increase our grid capacity to meet growing energy demands, implementation of innovative grid technology to modernize our grid is a must.

ET Energy World
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