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City Waste Into Clean Energy: India’s Plans for the Future

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India_Municipal_WasteStarting in February, Indian company Ramky Enviro Engineers, backed by a private equity arm of Standard Chartered, has big plans to turn India’s city waste into a source of clean power. The company will conduct a $200 million IPO and plans to use the money to build a power plant that will use city waste as fuel.

This endeavor was prompted by the directive the Indian government gave to corporations to get carbon-intensive industries under control and the government expects corporations to lower their yearly quotient by 10%. This includes mining and power generation industries. Experts anticipate this directive to become even stricter over time.

India’s massive waste issue is widely known, so the idea that waste can be turned into a viable power source is heartening, both as a clean energy alternative and a way to clean up Indian cities. Annually, India’s cities generate up to 55 million tons of solid waste and 38 billion liters of sewage. Waste power plants are more common in Europe than they are in India, but the country hopes to change this.

As India’s rising GDP grows, so too does it waste per capita. Experts predict as the growing Indian middle’s expectations increase so will the rate of power consumption – possibly rivaling the US and Europe. This will require a massive energy infrastructure that India does not currently have. To combat this potential disaster, there are plans to add 100 GW of power generation over the coming years. The energy will be comprised of coal and clean power.

Aspirational goals, a mainstay of the Indian government’s pattern of lofty ambitions, are often unrealistic and the country often falls quite short.

However, if Ramky Enviro Engineers manages to raise the funds in an IPO, the company will spend approximately $100 million on a 48 MW waste energy plant in Hyderabad. To date, Ramky Enviro Engineers has generated a profit from its waste management business.

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