The hydrogen market continues to attract new players:
The latest is the district of Chamba, in the hill state of Himachal Pradesh. It has tied up with NHPC, formerly National Hydro-Electric Power Corporation, to produce green hydrogen which will be used for running buses
. It’s an intriguing development. NHPC has been a laggard at diversification – unlike NTPC, formerly National Thermal Power Corporation, which forayed into hydel, solar and is now contemplating nuclear. And yet, it’s hard to shrug off the feeling that all energy PSUs will slowly blur into facsimiles of each other.
India has floated its first tender
for a standalone Battery Energy Storage System. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy said in its statement
: “It will provide Discoms with storage facilities to be used on an ‘on-demand’ basis.
This was a mixed week for the country’s EV sector:
Maruti Suzuki will unveil its first electric car in 2025
but the company is not very bullish about the Indian market. Electric vehicle sales in India will account for 8% to 10% of total sales in 2030, Maruti Suzuki President and CEO Hisashi Takeuchi told Nikkei
, well below the Indian government’s goal of 30% by 2030.
Kia is less bearish:
It’s working on a small SUV EV
for India. So is Hero Electric. It has announced plans to set up 50,000 charging stations
in the next 12 months. LML is bringing Germany’s eRocket
to India. This is a pedal-powered electric motorcycle
. As the rider spins the pedals, the motor adds its own power – creating a pedal-powered machine with a top speed of over 90 km/h. As a colleague said, this looks like it will be fun to ride.
For now, though, more than setting the market on fire, electric scooters are immolating themselves
. Multiple scooters – including those made by Jitendra New EV Tech, Ola Electric, Okinawa and Pure EV – have caught fire. There are complaints too that batteries are abruptly losing all power. Another company, Okinawa Electric
, has recalled 3,215 scooters to check their batteries.
Complaints, however, transcend batteries:
An Ola Electric user fractured both his hands after, as his father alleged on Twitter, the scooter accelerated during regenerative braking
. In its response, the company blamed
the user for reckless riding.
The union government, however, has told scooter makers to get their act together
If we see decarbonisation as green creative destruction, are these investments resulting in a sustainable competitive advantage for India?
And now, fossil fuels:
India continues to buy Russian oil
. BPCL’s privatisation is, well, back on the backburner
. City gas distributors – who supply piped natural gas to households and run CNG pumps for vehicles – have landed in trouble
Not only is the Union government supplying less gas than they need, it has also more than doubled domestic gas prices for the sector. The outcome? As firms invest – and expand – incrementally, India’s distinctly hopeful
plans of boosting gas to 15% of its energy mix will take another hit.
Over time, an industry watcher told us, the sector will see consolidation. He expects no more than four or five private sector firms to remain in the sector – Adani Gas, Torrent Power, AG&P, Think Gas and Megha. Over time, he said, a couple of these might sell out to the rest as well.