Mumbai: With the fast pace of urbanization across India and the world, adopting carbon-neutral technologies and offering innovative solutions for sustainable living could provide new business opportunities, said Ravichandran Purushothaman, president, India region, for Denmark-based Danfoss Industries.
“Given the pollution in cities, the five key elements—cooling, heating, water, air quality and solid waste—are going to be future business opportunities for many companies," Purushothaman said. “At Danfoss, we have been working on these themes with several governments across the world."
The future of India, he added, lies in creating carbon-neutral cities.
He cited examples of how Danfoss was able to transform the city of Benxi, popularly known as China’s steel city, through the use of district cooling technology.
Five years ago, the city was so polluted that it was not even visible on Google Maps. Subsequently, Danfoss used the district heating technology, wherein heat from the steel plants was used to maintain the temperature in homes during the winter and summer months.
“Today, Benxi is back on Google Maps and it has been a significant transformation," he said.
Danfoss is also working in Copenhagen, a city aiming to become a carbon-neutral city by 2030.
The focus areas are cooling and heating systems for water, solid waste management, electricity generation and transportation.
The company is also working on a district cooling project at Thane in Mumbai, in partnership with the United Nations Sustainable Energy for All and Thane municipal corporation.
“Potentially, the district cooling will disrupt almost 30% of the electricity," he said.
In Chennai’s T. Nagar, Danfoss is looking to take seawater and use it for cooling the area. The pilot is part of the smart city proposal.
“Typically, district cooling in Singapore and the Middle East (West Asia) has actually disrupted the electricity cost by 30-35%," he said. “It is a very interesting technology, which is fast catching up, and will become an integral part of most cities that we want to build, and make them liveable as well."
According to Purushothaman, the key thing that India needs is an “integrated approach to planning and implementation".
“I do believe that India has a unique opportunity," he said. “By focusing on carbon-neutral technology, we will not only improve the quality of life in cities, but (it) will also become a huge job opportunity, given that these new technologies can create new industries, and become a big exporter of these technologies to other parts of the world."