‘Electric vehicles cannot be dominant in India for now’

Edward Monser, Vice-Chairman, US-India Strategic and Partnership Forum (USISPF) and President of Emerson Electric, believes that though electric vehicles are going to expand in the Indian market, they will never be dominant. In an in interview with BusinessLine, Monser said for India to attract more investments, structural changes have to take place. Excerpts:

How do you see India’s heft toward renewable energy and alternate sources of energy?

I think India is working towards a hybrid solution. Renewables is going to be an important part of this with solar and wind energy. But coal will be a dominant player in the market with nuclear, and that condition I think will generate secure, stable and sustainable energy for the future.

While America is supporting India’s ambitious energy plans, it has also put India’s solar energy programme in jeopardy by dragging it to the WTO over domestic content requirements (DCR)…

I think solar and wind have a role to play. But, economically this can only be viable with government support, since these cannot be competitive on their own. So, that makes me nervous about the industry and investments. Improvement in solar has happened and projections on the solar side make you believe that something could happen, and that it can be competitive. But, I think, the role it will be playing will be smaller. Renewables will be 20-30 per cent of the entire energy mix, which is important.

Is the US willing to understand India’s position as far as DCR is concerned in its solar programme?

Well, the negotiations are still on, but I think both US and India will find out a solution together. The DCR issue is not unique here. It has been going on in a lot of different markets. We can find a solution in ‘Make in India’ or broadly apply it. But it needs to be significant. It has to be consistent. Then investments will come here. We see India as a manufacturing hub for the region.

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