India may rope in e-commerce giants Flipkart, Amazon, Snapdeal to sell solar products

Photo:Mint

The government is roping in the popular marketing platforms of e-commerce companies Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal to promote solar energy in the country, according to a senior government official, who did not wish to be named.

The ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE) has been writing to these firms to showcase solar energy products such as water heaters, lanterns, chargers, house systems, lights and coolers on their platforms.

“We have been writing to Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal to showcase more solar products to sell as none can match their reach today. We want to leverage this opportunity,” said the official.

Such demand side management intervention comes in the backdrop of the government pushing renewable energy to the top of its energy security agenda. The government has substantially revised an earlier solar energy target of achieving 20,000 megawatts (MW) capacity by 2022 to 100,000MW. In addition, the government plans to have 60,000MW of wind power capacity by then, requiring an overall investment of around Rs.10 trillion in the renewable energy sector.

MNRE has also put up a link on its website to help consumers set up solar rooftop installations. Those interested in setting up a solar rooftop installation will be able to do a feasibility calculation online. The interface will also allow them to get in touch with around 270 empanelled firms, which will set up the installations for them. MNRE has ensured that these firms will provide certified products.

Spokespersons of MNRE, Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal didn’t immediately respond to emailed queries.

MNRE has been introducing several innovative mechanisms to promote green energy in the country. Mint reported on 19 November that the government plans to train around 50,000 people in areas related to solar power—a so-called solar army. In addition, the government is also working on a strategy to turn around 20,000 unemployed graduates into entrepreneurs to help it meet its ambitious solar power generation targets—a plan it will implement in concert with state administrations.

In another development, the government on Wednesday launched the new wind resource atlas to promote wind energy in the country.

“The new Indian Wind Atlas is an important online GIS (Geographic Information System) tool for identification of the regional and local wind energy potential in India. It contains average annual values of Wind Speed (m/s), Wind Power Density and Capacity Utilization Factor (CUF) calculated for an average 2 MW turbine at 100 m,” the power ministry said in a statement.

In India, the world’s biggest greenhouse gas emitter after the US and China, renewable energy currently accounts for only 13%, or 35,777MW, of the total installed power capacity of 2,74,818MW.

This story was first published on livemint.com

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Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.