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Industries of the Future: Top 10 Opportunity Areas

Sustainability Outlook carried out extensive industry-wide surveys and interviews amongst various stakeholders to uncover 10 opportunity areas for sustainability focused businesses in the short and mid-term future. Following that, detailed survey and in-depth interviews with 60 innovative sustainability ventures providing solutions in these 10 opportunity areas were conducted. Through these interactions, Sustainability Outlook has identified 10 opportunity areas for next generation technology innovators and gained insight into the various technological solutions that exist in the market today, the current market uptake of these solutions and the challenges faced by them in scaling up.


To read the entire report, click here.

The top opportunity areas are:

1. Smart Energy Distribution and Monitoring
Over the next 10 years, it is expected that India will spend at least $10 billion on smart grids which would include actions for power quality, outage and peak load management systems as well as advanced metering infrastructure.

This number is only going to go up with the recent push for smart cities in India.

2. Information Tools for Effective Resource Monitoring
Use of tools for monitoring and lowering resource usage is one of the low hanging fruits for energy conservation. As smart grids and smart meters are installed, there will be need for software to analyze all the data collected to derive information about energy usage patterns.

Organizations which are looking to reduce operating costs or 'Go Green' first turn to energy monitoring solutions for effective data analysis. While specific estimates for the market in India are still being developed, the overall market of energy management and monitoring equipment and tools in Asia is expected to become $1 trillion by 2018.

3.Thermal energy storage
Thermal energy storage can find applications in building & construction, commercial refrigeration, HVAC, energy storage, shipping and transportation. However, the thermal energy storage market is virtually untapped in India with very few players and not much awareness. One of the major thrust areas in thermal energy storage is development of phase change materials. Consumption of Phase Change Materials is expected to reduce the overall demand for energy by up to 50% by 2050. The global phase change material market is estimated to grow from $460 million in 2013 to $1,150 million by 2018 (at a CAGR of 20.1% for the same period).

4.Sewage and Waste water Treatment
Sewage and waste water treatment has been a fairly neglected sector, and despite laws, untreated waste water is released into rivers and local water bodies. It is only recently, due to the Government’s Swachh Bharat Program, that Sewage and Waste water treatment is seeing greater interest. Currently, only 60 per cent of industrial and 26 per cent of  domestic wastewater is treated in India. Metros and large cities are treating only about 30 per cent while smaller cities treat a minuscule 3.7 per cent of their wastewater

5. Hybrid/ Electric Vehicles (HEVs)
Studies forecast that sales of Hybrid and electric cars in India will reach 22,000 by 2018. Two wheeled electric vehicles are expected to grow to more than 1.1 million units annually by 2018. To tap  into this growing market, the Indian Government is looking to encourage the uptake of electric vehicles. Auto majors like Tata has developed the concept of the range extended Hybrid Tata Megapixel and Hyundai is introducing the i10 EV mode.

6. E-Waste Management
The Central Pollution Control Board has estimated that e-waste generation in India exceeded 0.8 lakh MT, and the number is going to increase by 500 times till 2030. Due to the enforcement of the E-waste Handling Rules since 2012, this space has seen a fair amount of interest. However, India’s e-waste management market is still dominated by the informal sector and there is a large opportunity in this space. The e-waste market in India is expected to grow at a CAGR of 30.6% during 2015-19

7. Industrial Waste Recycling
Due to regulations, all industries in India today have Effluent Treatment Plants, to treat the 4.4 million tonnes of Hazardous Waste that is generated annually. Out of that, it is estimated that 71,833 tons are incinerable wastes from which energy can be recovered. While Industrial waste management is not a novel area for resource sustainability, industries are on the lookout for solutions that can either reduce the cost of waste treatment, or ways to recycle the waste, so as to generate revenue out of it. India's hazardous waste market is at an estimated $ 280 million today, and expected to be growing at a CAGR of 12.8% over the next 5 years. Hazardous waste only includes a subset of industrial waste need to find more data for complete market size.

8. Municipal Waste Management
More than 55 million tons of Municipal Waste is generated in India per year, most of which ends up in landfills. For a proper municipal waste management strategy, India needs to first segregate the waste, and recycle or treat the waste depending upon the type of waste. Many sustainability companies have innovative solutions for treating separate components of municipal waste-like plastics, or construction and demolition waste, but for effective facilitation of these processes, proper waste collection infrastructure needs to be present, which is currently lacking. The Government of India at the central level has funded various initiatives  to address Solid Waste Management by providing assistance to the tune of  Rs. 30 billion under 12th Finance Commission. In light of the growing awareness about waste management, the entry of newer players, and technological advancements, the Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) market in India is estimated to be worth $1.5 billion by 2015

9. Use of Sustainable Materials
The story here is just beginning and about to be charted. This may perhaps be the largest segment with the need for newer material that would fit into the future of a circular economy.


This brief is an outcome of on-going industry engagement efforts by Sustainability Outlook to capture the sustainability mega-trends in the Indian industry. 

To get engaged in the process of identification of sustainability trends in India for 2015, nominate your sustainability initiatives for the 2015 Parivartan Sustainability Innovation Awards. Help uncover and shape the 2015 sustainability trends for India Inc. 

To receive the reports, get engaged or to learn more about the on-going work related to Corporate Sustainability, please email us at (Market Access & Insights Team at Sustainability Outlook)

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Author: sustainabilityoutlook
Document Tag: Resource Efficiency