It is the diversification in the choice of business models that will sustain the growth of renewables,” says Anjali Lothe, head, energy trading, strategic business development, Suzlon Energy Limited. She has over 20 years of experience across the conventional and renewable energy segments. After obtaining an MBA in finance, she started working with Bharat Forge, where she was responsible for managing its oil and gas portfolio. She got her first exposure to wind energy in 1997, when the company diversified into the segment. In 2000, she joined Suzlon Energy, where, due to her long tenure, she got involved across the entire value chain of setting up wind energy projects. Her current role involves exploring alternative markets for offtake , as well as strategic business development to attract investments into wind and solar.
Commenting on the state of the sector, Lothe says, “In spite of all the support, renewables inherently have had to face a lot of challenges. The fall in the prices of conventional energy is just an addition to those. The government is doing what is necessary to provide a level playing field through measures like waiver of interstate charges as also setting up high national-level targets. However, it is required that now all stakeholders, especially financiers, encourage the development of projects under new transaction types, for example, inter and intra-state open access. This will help investors overcome prevailing concerns regarding delays in discom payments and non-availability of viable preferential tariffs.” An increase in compliance of renewable purchase obligations in the short run and a turnaround in the REC market in the medium run are some of the key trends that she foresees. In the long run, she feels that the development of nascent policies on wind-solar hybrids, wind repowering and even offshore wind, along with ease of setting up group captives and inter/intrastate open access projects will contribute to the sector’s transformation.
Lothe recalls her most memorable assignment as an APPC-REC-based 30 MW wind project in Rajasthan. “Being the first such project in Rajasthan and one of the first few in the country, it was a mix of enthusiasm and anxiety for us and the investor,” she says. She endorses a “set up and move on” style, which has worked well with her young teams. She enjoys reading, Amrita Pritam and Clive Cussler being her favourites. She also likes listening to retro Hindi music. Her family includes her husband and their two teenage daughters.