The fast-growing telecom sector in India has become Panasonic’s major growth driver for energy storage products in the country, company officials say.
The Japanese tech giant reports the sector has generated more than $100 million in sales of lithium-ion battery-based solutions in the last three years, as telecom service operators invest in renewable energy plus storage.
Panasonic India believes this demand is likely to grow further on the back of policy initiatives launched by India’s government to promote the use of renewable energy, and also as other industrial segments seek energy-efficient solutions.
“India has set an ambitious target for renewable energy generation in the country, which will require energy storage systems to tackle intermittency challenges of renewable energy. Also, the demand for energy storage solutions is coming from the banking, green buildings and industrial segments in the country,” Manish Sharma, president and chief executive officer of Panasonic India, told news agency NNA.
The India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF) says India is the world’s second-largest telecoms market, with over 1.0 billion subscribers, and the second largest smartphone market. IBEF predicts the country will have almost one billion unique mobile subscribers by 2020.
Subscribers are currently served by 450,000 telecom towers, of which only 90,000 are currently diesel-free sites.
Bharti Airtel, the country’s leading telecom services provider, says more than 40,000 of its telecom towers are currently operating on battery-hybrid, lithium-ion and solar-hybrid technologies, and that it aims to increase the use of renewable energy by 2020.
Indus Towers, India’s largest telecom tower company, has committed to investing more than 5 billion rupees ($77 million) on green initiatives. The company manages about 123,000 towers in the country, out of which around 60,000 are diesel free and about 1,000 sites run on solar as of December 2016.
India has set a target of 175GW renewable power capacity by the end of 2022, from the current 46.33GW renewable power.