Techtonic is a new start-up challenge established in India for clean energy innovators. It is run by Social Alpha, and is backed by the Government of India via its support for India’s Clean Energy International Incubation Centre (CEIIC) and Atal Incubation Centres. Applicants from all over the world are eligible to apply, further establishing the initiative as a key contribution of India to supporting international cooperation on clean energy innovation through Mission Innovation.
The challenge invites renewable energy, energy efficiency and clean energy access solutions from all stages of the energy lifecycle, and across all use cases. However, given the importance of people’s livelihoods, especially as we emerge from the toughest periods of the Covid-19 pandemic, there is a special focus on making energy equitably accessible to all. Access to energy promotes economic growth, builds resilience and enhances the quality of life. To meet the exponentially growing energy needs of the planet, it is critical to enhance efficiency in the entire energy lifecycle and invest in clean energy sources. As well as Energy for Livelihoods, the other three themes are Smart Energy Systems, Energy Storage and Thermal Comfort.
As a knowledge partner for the challenge, the IEA was proud to participate in the launch event on 15 February 2021.
Mechthild Wörsdörfer, Director of Sustainability, Technology and Outlooks, gave introductory remarks. She spoke passionately about the need for innovation to meet our common energy challenges. Drawing on fresh analysis from the IEA’s India Energy Outlook, she outlined the immense opportunity that it will open up in countries like India, which have the potential to become clean technology hubs for the global energy transition. In 2040 in the IEA Sustainable Development Scenario, the market for solar PV, wind turbine, batteries and electrolysers in India reaches $80 billion. Even in our central scenario, 1 in every 7 dollars spent on these three types of equipment in 2040 is in India, compared with 1 in 20 today.
Simon Bennett, analyst in the Energy Supply, Investments and Outlooks Division, joined the panel looking at the investor’s perspective. He highlighted the IEA’s latest analysis of venture capital investment trends in clean energy. The panel concluded that capital is not the problem, but support for energy start-ups needs to address all the linkages and delays in the value chain. Investors (from both the debt and equity perspectives) are only just becoming familiar with the sector’s specific challenges.
IEA contributions to this event were made possible through the Clean Energy Transitions in Emerging Economies programme, which received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 952363