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Sustainable Technologies have significant Economic Value

Sarath Naru
Managing Partner-Ventureast
Sunday, March 31, 2013
Sarath Naru
Ventureast, headquartered in Hyderabad, is a VC fund manager with over $300 million under management. The firm has enabled over 70 businesses in the clean-tech, IT-Technology, Life Sciences and emerging sectors since 1997.

'Sustainable' and 'clean-tech' businesses are those that minimize the release of green-house gas (GHG) emissions or utilize less of the earth's resources, versus conventional approaches. In addition, businesses /technologies that allow us to adapt to the negative impact of GHG emissions also come under this sector. As one looks to invest in this sector, the meaningful evaluation of the 'GHG emissions' impact of the businesses one invests in; their scalability, and the 'bang for the buck' from the point of view of GHG emission minimization, will pay off commercially.

Clean and sustainable technologies have immense scope in India, given the country's immediate massive energy shortages and insufficient capital availability. The move to clean resources and sustainability now comes with significant economic value and is no longer being solely pushed by activists or regulatory requirements. There lies a huge pie of value that can be created for the country, with the early investors benefitting significantly.

Government Subsidies Becoming Less Relevant
Technology improvements in solar and wind power generation are creating a near grid parity situation already. The "rapid" installation of these plants versus conventional power plants is hugely appealing. Replacement of kerosene powered lamps, electrical hot water geysers, and diesel powered generators and pump sets with solar power are already economically beneficial to the user, albeit with higher initial investment. There are opportunities everywhere. For example: Drip Irrigation. Traditionally all drip irrigation set ups in India are supported by subsidies. However, the subsidies are marred with delays that associated with government processes. As a result, only two percent of the cultivated land is under drip irrigation. Consequently, there is huge growth potential for companies to develop innovative low cost technologies to address the non-subsidy driven market.

Commercial Aspects of Cleantech Investments

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