EPAL, our JV with EESL, was recently named the fastest-growing Indian business in the UK which was a moment to enjoy our success and revisit our purpose and resolve. EPAL was formed when EESL, the world leader in scaling up energy efficiency and the world’s largest publicly owned ESCO, approached us in 2016 for help entering the UK market with a dual objective of building a sustainable business in the UK and acquiring experience in systems and technologies which could impact in India.
The two sides of the JV are very different in nature, EESL is a large organisation under the Indian Ministry of Power and a JV of four of the largest power companies in India. EESL operates all over India and has deployed more than 350m LEDs, and more than 10m LED street lights, and is now scaling up many other energy efficiency projects, including efficient air conditioners, smart meters, and EVs and charging infrastructure.
EnergyPro is a UK SME, albeit with international experience dating back many years in various aspects of energy efficiency and energy services, and a senior team who developed and managed some of the largest cleantech funds and energy services companies in the UK.
What unites the two organisations is the common purpose of making a better world through increasing investment into energy efficiency.
To date EPAL has deployed more than £60m through EPAL, acquiring UK energy efficiency companies, a stake in a Canadian battery project and Manchester-based Edina, a leading CHP provider. These acquisitions represent more than just business opportunities – they can all help India achieve its ambitious energy efficiency objectives.
One of the huge problems that India faces, and one that will affect us all, is how to provide sustainable cooling solutions as demand for cooling grows as the country becomes wealthier. This global issue requires multiple solutions, one of which is trigeneration. Edina’s expertise in trigeneration is now being used in cooling projects for large buildings and industry in India.
Trigeneration and storage will also play a big part in providing much needed flexibility in the power system as India expands its renewable generation from the current level of c.86 GW to the targeted 225 GW by 2022 and beyond to more than 450 GW.
By bridging the Indian and UK energy transitions, EPAL is helping transfer knowledge and best practice in both directions. The UK can benefit from EESL’s experience in truly scaling up energy efficiency, experience that is now being applied in other countries around the world.
India has massive emerging markets, particularly in smart meters, sustainable cooling and electric vehicles, as well as storage and the market structures needed to enable rapid growth in flexibility services, all areas where the UK has technology and business model know-how.
EPAM is now working with a growing number of UK companies with technologies relevant to India, our partners, and key stakeholders such as the UKIBC, to facilitate access to India and investment. Likewise we see opportunities for other innovative Indian energy transition companies to enter the UK market.
The UK-India corridor has assumed even greater importance since Brexit but even without that factor we believe that by helping to forge India-UK collaborations we can accelerate the global energy transition and positively impact the energy sectors in both countries, emissions, job creation and international understanding.