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India needs to speed up transmission project progress to meet green energy targets: says Hitachi Energy India CEO

India needs to speed up transmission project progress to meet green energy targets: says Hitachi Energy India CEO
16 Jan, 2023
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N. Venu, MD and CEO of Hitachi Energy India, said in an interview that India will have to increase the pace of work in the transmission segment by two to three times to achieve its ambitious target. This comes in the backdrop of the government coming out with a roadmap to boost India’s power transmission system to integrate 500 GW of green energy by 2030. Noting that several high voltage direct current (HVDC) corridors would have to be set up, he said that more HVDC projects need to be set up compared to the current pace of setting up one project in two years. He further said that the company is now focused on HVDC projects in the transmission segment.

Edited excerpts:

Q. India recently announced the roadmap to develop the power transmission system for integration of 500 GW of green energy by 2030. What is your view on upgrading the grid keeping in view the green energy target?

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A. Renewable is intermittent in nature but at the same time it is available in abundance in most part of our country and you can reap the benefits of those availability and convert into generation and then effectively transmit. 500 GW by 2030 is quite ambitious. To do (achieve) that we ought to do at least 2-3 times or at least to 2 to 2.5 times more than what we have been doing now from an overall holistic standpoint the generation and then also transition. We have also been talking about HVDC projects. Previously, we used to have one HVDC (high voltage direct current) project for every five years. Now, at least we see one HVDC project for every two years average, so the need to have more HVDC projects is built as part of the high ambitions of renewable generation and the transmission. Transmission is the backbone of this strategy because without transmission you will not be able to accomplish it and so this also includes several HVDC transmission corridors that will help to transport bulk energy for long distances from generation sectors to demand centres. There is a huge amount of opportunities arising out of this to the various companies including Hitachi Energy.

Q. With concerns of a global recession, what is the outlook for your business growth and what would be the drivers of your growth?

A. On one side interest rates have gone up across countries, including India. We have been able to manage the interest rate well in India. In India, there’s a commitment that by 2030 that we want to have 500 GW renewable and then 50% of our energy should come from renewable sources, and the government has also announced the transmission plan for that. So with all these things if you really look at the demand drivers are very robust. So, if you really look at from the standpoint of Hitachi Energy in India, we are very confident on the long-term growth coming from renewable, transmission, and high growth segments like data center, data storage. The long-term demand drivers are intact, but as always, we are cautiously optimistic for the near terms considering if there is a recession in US or recession in Europe. We are not insulated, definitely it will have an impact on us. But as Hitachi Energy has been here for the last several decades, so we always keep our investment strategy and expansion strategy keeping a long-term demand drivers intact in mind.

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Q. What are your expansion plans for India?

A. We have been constantly looking at our product portfolio and also looking at our demand. Now our target is to increase exports to 25% of what we produce here. We selected many other markets around the world, and the second strategy we are also looking at is the demand arising out of various initiatives here.

Q. You are also present in the data center space in India. What are your plans for segment?

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A. Data center market is one of the growth markets. The demand driver for the data center market in India is primarily fueled through the data privacy law and second one is the huge amount of data and how do we store those data. These are the drivers through which the data center market has been has been growing here. We play in hyperscale data centers and we see that the capacity of the data center market is expected to double in the range of 1700 to 1800 MW by fiscal 2025 from present 870 MW. So, data centers in the range of 50 MW, 75 MW, 100 MW qualify for the hyperscale and that’s where we play a big role, either by powering through connection or the automation and the supplying of rated transformers etc.