“Five Years Is A Very Long Time In The Battery business”, Ak Shukla, Sanvaru

Sanvaru Technology CEO and founder AK Shukla seems to love doing the unconventional. From starting up a battery business when it wasn’t really the obvious thing to do, to setting up headquarters in the backwaters of Sonipat, Haryana. Today, the firm claims to be the leading manufacturer of Li ion/ Lifepo4battery pack for Solar/Electronic equipments /Medical equipments/Home lightening Systems & Off-Grid Solar Systems (ESS). It has also pioneered the design of customized Lithium Ion Batteries for the off-grid solar systems for defense, telecom & railway projects under the name of Sanvaru & Li3 in India. Shukla is the driving force behind the firm, with his lithium battery experience going back all the way to 2007. We caught up with him for a short interview.

Q. Describe your 7-year journey so far in the lithium-ion battery sector?

AK Shukla, CEO and founder, Sanvaru Technology

AK Shukla, CEO and founder, Sanvaru Technology

Seven Years ago, after and amid the worst financial crisis I had seen in my life till then, I founded Sanvaru Technology in Delhi NCR, India with a vision of clean, green energy and to create Jobs for the young and to bridge the gap of gender inequality. Since 2014, we’ve grown to a team of 72 team members across all states of India and supported over multi-MWh of projects in all segment of Energy Storage. Our team has expanded our portfolio of services to include the entire energy storage and Renewable Integration supply chain and continues to explore new market segments. While I’m proud of the achievements we’ve had over the years, I’m proudest of the culture we’ve developed at Sanvaru as visible by the core values our team embraces every day. I look forward to the next many more years with our Sanvaru Family as we create a better future and help our clients and stakeholders deploy storage solutions, electric mobility and urban infrastructure worldwide. We firmly believe in “Energy storage serves as a central catalyst for modernizing and creating a more reliable and resilient, efficient, sustainable, and affordable energy/ grid in the domain of stationary Storage, Urban Mobility and Modern infra”.

Q. Over the next 5 years, considering the awareness and momentum that the renewables and sustainable energy segment has gained in India, where do you see your firm – how are you planning to move forward?

Sanvaru and many more companies around the world are working to accomplish one vision- that is to solve our climate crisis and, to that end, we are working to massively accelerate decarbonization, electrification, and resilience. We are rapidly expanding our business network across India and supporting partners to deploy clean energy products and solutions including e-mobility, urban Infrastructure and microgrids. We have launched a Social and CSR program to streamline our collaboration with non-profits creating clean energy microgrids.

Batteries currently dominate energy storage, the lithium-ion batteries. The surge in their production has reduced their cost, making energy storage viable. The global market is expected to grow to $426 billion in the next 10 years, accompanied by a reduction in costs of between 66-80%. Batteries will continue to dominate.

Aside from cost reductions and accessibility to emerging energy storage technologies, there are other key drivers to the recent uptake. These include an increase in the cost of electricity, the falling cost of renewables and a desire to be less dependent on the national grid. The combination of these drivers has seen many people look to develop their own power supply based around renewable generation and an energy storage system.

Also, Sanvaru is working on many new and emerging Battery Storage Systems Wherein Our Priority is to develop large integrated solutions in the stationary segment with best in quality, warranty management Systems and After Sales Services with the least TOT.

  • The Next Level of engagement would be in the field of Battery cell research and production Centre
  • Cell development plant for the battery industry- Through Technical Collaboration of institute of repute like NREL- US, IIT’s and other battery Innovation Institute
  • Part of the industry consortium contributing to the plant set-up and operation.

Five years is a very long time in the battery business; however, we have not yet seen anything yet that is in production to replace more typical Li-ion chemistries, and certainly there are many who argue that this won’t change for quite a while.

Q. Can you please define the key characteristics of your technology for the readers?

We know that the fastest, cheapest way to decarbonize, especially over the next 10 years, is clean electrification: shifting the grid to carbon-free sources and shifting other sectors and energy services onto the grid.

Lithium-ion batteries (Li-ion) have become essential for many applications. Li-ion cells have many desirable characteristics, such as high efficiency, a long cycle life, high energy density, high power density and high charge/ discharge capability. Due to these characteristics, Li-ion based battery systems have been used in many applications over the last few decades, such as consumer goods, industrial applications, electric vehicles (EVs), and more recently in energy storage applications, to make renewable energy more versatile, whether for houses with PV systems or utility-scale systems to manage the energy of a small city.

At our design & Innovation center, we are fulfilling the SDGs of the UN, COP and Paris Climate Agreement, development of IOT, IOE and AI, Blockchain through Energy Exchanges.

Our innovative Business Model of EaaS, PaaS and RaaS energy storage platform are vertically integrated and purpose-built solution for the demands of utility-scale, residential, commercial and industrial, Data Centers and micro grid applications.

  • First of its Kind to Announce the Bankable Energy Storage Solutions Under the Concept “Power for All- 24 X7” under Net Zero Model.
  • Results based Business Case: Data Centres, Telecom Towers, C & I Customers, Mini and Micro Grids

Q. How has the market evolved? In terms of costs, technological changes, etc?

The energy storage industry is always evolving, and new and improved battery options for every segment come out constantly. We all know Energy Storage is the “NEXT BIG THING”. the storage of energy is vital to shift intermittent renewable sources such as wind and solar to baseload reliability. But a big question how to get involved?

Start of this year we launched many more innovative solutions, a solution for small and mid-scale microgrid applications. To develop, we took our innovations from many industry experts, key learnings from previous generations of our product, and feedback from the field. The motivation was to improve the customer experience with our smaller and mid-scale solution. We made a product that’s faster and simpler to install for our market technicians. We also upgraded the materials, design, and software to provide customers a premium-quality product that is easy to use, reliable, and durable.

There needs to be a technology change to make batteries a success. It’s not just improvements in performance that are required, it’s the development of battery recycling or the development of battery technology that allows for easy recycling, without which I fear we’re creating an environmental time bomb.

Q. How do you see the potential in the Lithium battery market? Size, growth and opportunities?

The market for Lithium-ion batteries (LIB) is projected to grow at a CAGR of 35% with an increase from 2.9 GWh in 2018 to 132 GWh in just over a decade. The National Electric Mobility Mission Plan 2020, enhancement in renewable power generation capacity as well as the recent SOPs to the EV sector sets up the industry for aggressive growth even with shaved off projections on account of the pandemic.

The current share of LIB used in the EV sector is around 35%, with telecom, power sector, localised storage applications, consumer electronics, data centres and others making up the rest. The share of the battery market for the EV sector is expected to grow from 35% to about 80% by 2030 based on projected growth in EV sales at 71% CAGR.

The market in India, buoyed by lower LIB prices, is expected to grow at a CAGR of 34.8% between 2021-2024 (Global News Wire). This might be troublesome considering only 269,000 tonnes were mined in 2018 while projections of 1.637M tonnes of LI will be needed to match the demand by 2025.

Tapping of the Opportunity:

We feel and have confidence that with the data mentioned above for the globe and in line with India, we would like to sharpen our sword for the next level of business and with new innovations. We want to have a larger pie in the segment of EV, Data centers, integration of renewable energy technologies for smart power generation & transmission, Large Storage LIB Systems and would like to place our self in the top ten of the ESS and RET companies under all verticals of RE and EC.

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