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Dr Rahul Walawalkar, VP, Emerging Technologies & Market, Customized Energy Solutions

September 26, 2014
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Rahul Walawalkar has been playing an active role in promoting the adoption of energy storage and microgrid solutions in India. Currently, he is vice-president, emerging technologies and market, the Customized Energy Solutions (CES). In addition, he is founder and executive director, India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA), serves on the board of directors of the Energy Storage Association (USA), and was recently nominated as a member of National Standing Committee on Energy Storage and Hybrids by the Minstry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE).

Given the power shortage faced in India, Walawalkar is optimistic about the future adoption of energy storage solutions. He believes that one of the biggest challenges for the telecom industry is costs associated with power backup solutions and diesel consumption of telecom towers. “Telecom towers have a steady load, which is 80-100 per cent of the 3 kW-5 kW peak load. Given the need for reducing diesel consumption and TRAI mandate for renewable adoption, energy storage can play a major role.”

However, he states that for the adoption of energy storage solutions, technology development is not the only requirement; a favourable business model also needs to be showcased, which currently entails policy barriers. To this end, Walawalkar has been involved with various policymaking bodies such as the Ministry of Power and state-level bodies, in order to provide all the inputs for technology deployment.

Walawalkar enjoys the opportunity to interact with policymakers. “The interaction with policymakers, both at the state as well as central level, has been a memorable experience. I was involved with the Maharashtra Energy Regulatory Commission’s working group on energy storage, microgrids and renewable integration, the national task force on renewable energy integration for CEA and Ministry of Power, and the standing committee on energy storage and hybrid systems for MNRE in the past 12 months,” says Walawalkar.

He attributes his involvement in several alliances and working committees on energy storage solution to his ability to understand new technologies.

Outside work, Walawalkar likes to spend quality time with his wife and two daughters. He adds, “My wife is also working with CES as director, energy trading, and handling key strategic partnerships for IESA. I am fortunate that she supports me at home as well as at the workplace.”

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