ESCO and EE Finance

Given India’s burgeoning population and rapid economic growth, the country’s energy demand is expected to more than double by 2030. The growing energy deficit, coupled with fluctuating global energy prices, has led to greater focus on energy efficiency. There is, thus, a pressing need to develop innovative ways to conserve energy. The growing energy concerns in the country have prompted the government to incentivise investment in the energy sector. This has created significant opportunities for energy efficiency projects in the country resulting in a proliferation of Energy Service Companies (ESCOs).

The Energy Efficiency market potential in India is estimated to be over $20 billion. There are 140 empanelled ESCOs by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency, but only about 40 are active. This gap can be attributed to the limited access to institutional financing for ESCO projects, inadequate opportunity identification, lack of a policy-level push and the inherent trust gap between ESCOs and End users, characteristic of a nascent market.

Despite the challenges, ESCOs can take heart from India’s largest ESCO success story – that of its very own Super ESCO – Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL). EESL’s model has simplified and standardised the procurement, execution and M&V of equipment-oriented projects.

The energy services market should be enabled across the four spokes of the EE wheel –ESCOs, end users, financial institutions and the government. While the ESCO approach should be standardised for technology specific solutions, financial institutions need to be empowered to roll out innovative instruments for EE financing. The country’s vast end use energy and efficiency data needs to be analysed and benchmarked for the creation of addressable business opportunities. These cannot be achieved without a favourable policy environment that catalyses the EE space, and with it the ESCO space.

Through its multi-faceted initiatives to catalyse the ESCO industry, read how AEEE essays its role as an energy efficiency market enabler, connecting the dots, bringing key players together, all towards making India a globally attractive market for best available EE technologies and solutions.