Sustainability: Decarbonization in heavy Industries

CIO Tech Outlook Team | Friday, 07 June 2024, 13:39 IST

  •  No Image

In a discussion at the Matrix Global Summit 2024, organized by TiE Bangalore, Industry experts discussed the problems faced by industries in their efforts to reduce their carbon footprint. With energy consumption being at an all time high in conjunction with increasing carbon emissions, it is critical that alternate means of energy generation is devised that is capable of producing the same quantity of electricity with diminished carbon traces.

Suruchi Rao (CEO and Co-Founder of Ossus Biorenewables), Deepak Krishnan (Deputy Director at World Resources Institute) and Diane Franchon (Director at SLB Ventures) share their findings associated with the technology and other barriers hindering decarbonization efforts from the perspective of startups and established corporations.

Technology Barriers

Green Hydrogen, in particular, is difficult to harvest. Though the chemical process may sound as simple as passing a lot of power through pure water, it is an extraordinarily cost-intensive and taxing process.  Ossus Biorenewables is following an innovative approach, disrupting this approach by using industrial wastewater. They follow a simple strategy of producing hydrogen where it is required and using resources that are already available.

A common simplification is that water is a free resource. It takes tremendous amount of energy to break away just the hydrogen molecules from it. It is also extremely stable which poses a chemical challenge. If tremendous amount of energy is exercised in this activity, it defeats the purpose of the primary utility of a renewable energy.

“One of the major problems associated with green energy is the customer acquisition,” says Suruchi Rao.


These new technologies are still in construction, and the technology space and the stakeholder ecosystem, coupled with geopolitical concerns, are some of the significant considerations to be taken with regard to this endeavor. She emphasizes that scale is a crucial factor when it comes to these kinds of ventures. There should be a delicate balance between creativity, marketing, when scaling the technology. Risk should be taken out of the equation as much as possible.

“Energy transition requires a lot of technology, and these technologies need to work efficiently, safely and as clean as possible,” says Diane Franchon.

Influence of Regulatory Actions

Net zero plays an important role.  When it comes to regulatory pressures, NDCs (Nationally Determined Contributions) are not legally binding documents. It is a statement declaring voluntary action. Prior to NDCs, India had performed an achievement trade scheme, which was targeted at energy-intensive large-scale industries, which incentivized them to bring down their energy consumption. This is now being considered to include MSMEs as well.

“Decarbonization is a central part of any energy discussion that is happening,” says Deepak Krishnan.

Companies that export to the EU starting from 2026 will be subject to carbon adjustment tax; they are looking at emissions within the exporters’ borders. Currently, India is also in the pilot phase of a similar program where people are made to monitor their carbon emissions, but there is no tax presently being applied for it. Keeping aside its politics, it has made companies stay on high alert regarding their carbon output. Other industries like cement and aluminum don’t have a dedicated ministry like steel, but they have made efforts on their own as they are perceiving it as losing markets. So, the driving factor is incentives rather than regulatory actions for the transition.

As a result of this, companies are taking a look at how decarbonization can be a part of their journey. They are setting net-zero targets for themselves.