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CSR: Indo-Swiss connection in renewable energy

solar energy
Children can’t study after dark, women have to depend on traditional cooking methods that increase their drudgery etc… Without energy, sectors like agriculture, health, education and even women empowerment are likely to get hampered. Clean energy interventions in CSR, by being more productive and cost-effective solve most of these problems.
The key is to ensure that energy interventions in CSR work on a sustainable model. Sometimes, giving a product such as a solar lantern is not sufficient solution. People might use it and return to kerosene lamps in a year. Hence, the challenge is to ensure better integration of these solutions in the long-run. This is where Swiss expertise could come in.
Switzerland has been advocating Clean Energy for many years, and is very well-positioned to collaborate with global markets. It’s one of the world’s most innovative nations as well as home to the world’s leading research and educational institutions.
On the other hand, India’s commitment to increase renewable energy share in its energy mix is evident from the ambitious target it has set itself – to achieve 175 GW renewable energy installations by 2022. This paves the way for creation of synergies between the two countries to collaborate for knowledge exchange and explore innovative technical solutions to fast-track the growing renewable energy segment.

Week dedicated to clean technology

To bridge connections between both the countries, swissnex India has signed a collaboration agreement with Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE) to facilitate tech transfer and knowledge exchange collaborations between Swiss academics, startups and innovative companies from clean energy ecosystem with key actors in the Indian energy sector. swissnex India, Consulate General of Switzerland, connects the dots in research, innovation, and education between Switzerland and India. It marked the Mumbai chapter of Cleantech Week India 2018 mid-December.
The Cleantech Week platform brought a group of 15 researchers and entrepreneurs from the clean energy sector of Switzerland to one of the fastest growing energy markets in the world: India, of course.

Pune chapter

The Pune chapter of the Cleantech Week 2018 introduced the delegation to potential market opportunities in one of India’s largest manufacturing and automotive hubs. This included targeted, domain-specific site visits to clean energy stakeholders such as Tata Green Batteries, E-mobility Group at the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) and the Pune Railway Station Rooftop Solar Project.
CEO of swissnex India and Consul General of Switzerland, Sebastien Hug, said: “India’s traction and growth in the energy market makes it ripe for innovation and technology disruption. It is our mission to enable the outreach and active engagement and international exchange of knowledge and talent”.

Bangalore chapter

The program began in Bengaluru with a site-visit to India’s largest airport rooftop solar project at the Kempegowda International Airport. Key highlights of the inaugural day included industry introductions to the Indian Cleantech market, meetings with high-level representatives from BESCOM to discuss challenges and collaboration opportunities for state smart-grids and e-vehicle policy in Karnataka. The event also marked the launch of the ‘Swiss Business Hub (SBH) Cleantech Sector in India’ report with special focus on solar energy, e-mobility and energy storage. There was an interactive panel discussion on India’s National Energy Storage Mission with representatives of the Indian Energy Storage Alliance (IESA). An industry report on ‘Cleantech sector in India’ in association with the Swiss Business Hub was released.

Mumbai chapter

The Mumbai chapter of the Cleantech Week 2018 introduced the delegation to potential investment opportunities, large corporate decision-makers and academic excellence in the economic capital of the country. This included targeted, domain specific meetings with investment and start-up accelerator hubs like the Yes Bank Accelerator. The delegation also experienced first-hand, academic research excellence at the Veermata Jijabhai Technological Institute (VJTI).
The day concluded with a series of business networking meetings in the heart of Mumbai to further explore market potential for the Swiss startups. This concluded a highly productive exploratory week for the entire delegation across Bengaluru, Pune and Mumbai.
Accompanying the group was Phillip Müller, Head of Cleantech, Swiss Federal Office of Energy. He said, “Our government has a clear charter on making Swiss clean energy technology accessible and adaptable across the world. We see India as a market with policy, price and scale challenges but also tremendous potential. Our hope from platforms like Cleantech Week is to engage with corporate, manufacturing, policy and government institutions to connect the dots of innovation, business potential and talent.”
Click on the link below to watch our coverage of the Mumbai chapter: