Interview: Manish Dabkara

Chairman and MD at EKI Energy Services Ltd.

EKI has been at the forefront of driving awareness of green hydrogen and green ammonia

February 13, 2024. By News Bureau

EKI, with its extensive network of stakeholders, has been at the forefront of driving awareness and influencing policy discussions related to green hydrogen & green ammonia, says Manish Dabkara, Chairman and MD, EKI Energy Services Ltd. in an interview with Energetica India.

Que: Can you provide an overview of EKI Energy Services Ltd. and its mission in the field of offset solutions and carbon asset management?

Ans: EKI Energy Services Limited is a distinguished carbon asset management service provider listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE). At EKI, we specialize in offering consultancy and advisory services to corporate entities, guiding them on how to delineate their carbon footprint, develop in-house measures to achieve carbon neutrality and offset their residual emissions through strategic investments in high-value carbon credits.

Established in 2008, our journey began with the registration of a voluntary carbon standard project. Over the past one-and-a-half decades, we have evolved into a global player, having worked with over 3500 clients from 40 different countries. Our extensive experience includes the trading of over 200 million carbon offsets on a global scale. Notably, our clientele encompasses major corporations and renowned multilateral and bilateral agencies.

Our commitment to environmental sustainability has propelled us to become a leading Carbon Credit Developer & Supplier worldwide, with a presence in more than 17 countries and a clientele spanning over 40 countries. To date, EKI has supplied over 200 million offsets, solidifying our position as a key player in the industry.

As we passionately work towards a future of net-zero carbon emissions, EKI is dedicated to contributing to the development of a climate-resilient global economy. Our strategic solutions cater to businesses and organizations globally, helping them achieve their climate ambitions.

We provide sustainable solutions for climate change and carbon offsets, adhering to global standards such as CDM, VCS, Gold Standard, GCC, IREC, TIGR, and others. Join us in our mission to foster a sustainable and resilient future for our planet.

Our Vision
Imagine a net-zero world. A world where humanity has come together and defeated the climate crisis. Where sustainability is a prime consideration in all human activity. Where, through focussed innovation, both technological progress and energy generation are in harmony with the environment.

At EKI, we believe that if we lead by example and enable communities to take positive collective actions, we can bring about this ideal world. A low-carbon, net zero, sustainable world where the environment doesn’t need protection. This is the dream that spurs us on every day.

Que: With expertise in various carbon standards such as Gold Standard, VCS, CDM, etc., how does EKI Energy Services navigate the diverse landscape of climate initiatives?

Ans: At EKI, our commitment to environmental sustainability is underscored by our comprehensive expertise in various carbon standards, including Gold Standard, VCS (Verified Carbon Standard), CDM (Clean Development Mechanism), and more. Navigating the diverse landscape of climate initiatives is at the core of our strategy, and we do so through a multifaceted approach.

First and foremost, our team is composed of experts well-versed in the intricacies of each carbon standard. This ensures that we not only comply with the necessary requirements but also exceed them, maximizing the positive impact of our initiatives. We continually stay abreast of the latest developments and updates within the carbon standards landscape, enabling us to adapt swiftly to changes and evolving best practices.

EKI takes a collaborative approach by actively engaging with industry forums, regulatory bodies and other stakeholders. This allows us to contribute to the development of climate initiatives, share our experiences and gain insights from peers. By participating in these discussions, we position ourselves at the forefront of industry advancements and align our efforts with emerging global standards.

Furthermore, our commitment extends beyond mere compliance, as we proactively seek opportunities to innovate and lead in the carbon reduction space. We invest in research and development to identify new technologies, methodologies and projects that can contribute meaningfully to climate initiatives. This proactive stance allows us to not only meet current standards but also anticipate future trends and set higher benchmarks for environmental responsibility.

To summarise, EKI navigates the diverse landscape of climate initiatives through expertise, collaboration, and innovation. Our proactive and adaptive approach ensures that we not only meet the stringent requirements of existing carbon standards but also actively shape the future of sustainable practices in the fight against climate change.

Que: How does EKI Energy Services contribute to the development and approval of methodologies under different standards, particularly in emerging areas like green hydrogen and green ammonia?

Ans: Our commitment to sustainability goes beyond meeting existing standards. We continuously assess the carbon financing potential of new emerging green technologies and actively contribute to the development and approval of methodologies in collaboration with apt carbon standards and registries. Emerging areas such as carbon dioxide removal technologies, biochar, green hydrogen, and green ammonia are being assessed for their carbon financing potential. In these rapidly evolving fields, we take a leadership role by advocating for positive developments, particularly within the Indian market.

With its extensive network of stakeholders, EKI has been at the forefront of driving awareness and influencing policy discussions related to green hydrogen & green ammonia and believes in the sector’s transformative potential to reshape the energy landscape, reduce carbon emissions, and drive sustainable development. Our team actively engages with stakeholders in the government, industry, carbon registries, and academia to advocate for supportive policies, incentives, and frameworks that foster the growth of the green hydrogen & green ammonia sector.

In addition to our advocacy efforts, EKI is actively involved (following and contributing) in the development of the Indian Carbon Market. The green hydrogen sector is also finalized to be considered for the trading of carbon credits under the Paris Agreement’s Article 6.2 mechanism to facilitate the transfer of emerging technologies and mobilize international finance in India. There are high hopes to avail carbon financing for this sector and EKI is persistently working for the same.

Que: Can you elaborate on the types of projects EKI Energy Services is currently involved in, especially in the areas of carbon avoidance, removal, (EPR), and plastic credits?

Ans: At EKI, we offer a comprehensive range of sustainable and strategic solutions, encompassing consultancy and advisory services that cover the entire spectrum of carbon asset management. This includes the generation, supply, and offsetting of carbon credits including plastic credits. Our expertise in this domain, honed over a span of 15+ years, has facilitated numerous reductions in emissions. As the sole listed company dedicated to climate action, we serve as a catalyst for carbon offsets and play a vital role in the carbon credit supply chain worldwide.

We provide services across following segments
• Sustainability & Net Zero Services
• Climate Investments
• Offsetting to Achieve Carbon Neutrality/Net Zero Emissions/Plastic Neutrality
• Carbon Markets Capacity Building Advisory
• Offsets Portfolio Management Services

In our unwavering commitment to making a difference, we champion carbon reduction projects that not only fortify the global carbon credit supply chain but also contribute to community development.

Que: How does your partnership with IndianOil contribute to the promotion of 'Surya Nutan'?

Ans: Recently, EKI and Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. (IOCL) formalized a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which aims to promote ‘Surya Nutan’, IndianOil's innovative indoor solar cooking system. This initiative aims to deliver quantifiable carbon emissions reductions and substantial developmental co-benefits.

Under the MOU, IndianOil will share the technology of ‘Surya Nutan’ with EKI to enhance its production and distribution, supported by carbon finance while contributing towards the betterment of society and environment. EKI will oversee the end-to-end management of 'Surya Nutan' encompassing manufacturing, marketing, installation, and the provision of after-sales services. This will be achieved by leveraging carbon finance, corporate social responsibility, or any other similar means.

EKI and IOCL are also hosting an inaugural programme in Dhar on January 16, where a pilot project will be launched for the distribution of new indoor solar cooking device, 'Surya Nutan' to the underprivileged and tribal beneficiaries (at no cost to them) in rural and semi-urban areas. The 'Surya Nutan' device is developed by Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL) and the cost of the pilot project will be borne by EKI Energy Services Ltd. In the inaugural programme, we intend to distribute over two dozen 'Surya Nutan' to the beneficiaries.

The project will serve three purposes largely:
• To discourage the use of traditional mudstoves or three-stone cookstoves, hence avoiding the 7-8 tons of carbon emissions annually. Surya Nutan is completely green.
• Eliminate smoky kitchens and subsequently indoor pollution, eventually giving healthier environment at homes, especially for women and children.
• Uplifting underprivileged communities by bringing them to clean cooking fold at free of cost and freeing up more time for them to be utilised for environmental activities.

Que: How does EKI Energy Services assist businesses in understanding and navigating the global renewable energy market trends?

Ans: At EKI, we take pride in being a leading carbon credit developer and supplier globally, and our commitment extends beyond just providing consultancy or advisory services for carbon asset management. We actively assist businesses in understanding and navigating the dynamic landscape of global renewable energy market trends.

Our approach involves leveraging our extensive expertise and thought leadership in the field. Our team of climate experts stays abreast of the latest developments, emerging technologies and regulatory changes within the renewable energy sector. Through comprehensive research and analysis, we distill complex market trends into actionable insights for businesses.

We offer tailored consultancy services that enable businesses to align their strategies with the evolving renewable energy market. This includes providing market intelligence, risk assessments and identifying opportunities for sustainable growth. Whether it's understanding the impact of policy changes, exploring new technologies, or optimizing renewable energy investments, EKI is a trusted partner in guiding businesses through the complexities of the global renewable energy market and carbon market.

We actively engage in industry forums, participate in conferences and foster partnerships that enable businesses to stay connected with the latest trends and best practices. Through these initiatives, we create a platform for knowledge exchange, empowering businesses to make informed decisions in a rapidly evolving renewable energy landscape.

Our commitment to sustainability extends beyond mere compliance, and we strive to empower businesses with the knowledge and tools needed to thrive in the transition to a sustainable future.

Que: The Green Cooking initiative, launched in 2018, aims to empower economically weaker households globally with improved cook stoves free of cost. Can you shed some light on this initiative?

Ans: The Clean Cooking Initiative, launched by EKI in 2018, represents a pioneering effort to address the dual challenge of providing essential energy access to economically weaker households globally, particularly in remote and underserved areas, while concurrently mitigating emissions. In the context of India, the initiative seeks sustainable growth harnessing local resources and adopting carbon-friendly practices. The Clean Cooking Initiative is managed by our subsidiary GHG Reduction Technologies Pvt. Ltd. which has a deep focus on community development and upliftment.

At the heart of this visionary initiative are community-based projects that go beyond mere charity. EKI's approach involves providing efficient and improved cookstoves to targeted communities free of cost. The investment in these projects is justified by the acquisition of carbon emission reductions, leading to the generation of carbon finance. This unique business concept not only empowers communities with sustainable energy access but also delivers an array of co-benefits.

Through these projects, we aim to alleviate the daily challenges faced by women in rural areas, who often undertake long journeys for firewood or portable water collection. By providing efficient and sustainable energy solutions, these initiatives afford women more time for productive activities, thereby contributing to their economic well-being and simultaneously addressing health concerns.

The Green Cooking initiative significantly reduces emissions associated with traditional practices in small households, contributing to a cleaner environment. It directly tackles in-house pollution, particularly impacting the health of women and children. These substantial co-benefits are achieved without direct investment, as carbon finance is strategically channelled into the initiative.

With a manufacturing capacity of nearly 5 million cookstoves in the biomass category per year at our state-of-the-art facility in Nashik, India, EKI boasts one of the largest manufacturing capacities globally. While actively engaged in India, we are also expanding our footprint across various regions in Africa, South Asia, and East Asia. The Green Cooking initiative stands as a flagship program, exemplifying our commitment to environmental stewardship, community empowerment, and sustainable business practices.

Que: Are there any upcoming innovations or projects that EKI Energy Services is particularly excited about?

Ans: We are consistently at the forefront of environmental stewardship, and our commitment to innovation remains unwavering. While we are excited about several upcoming innovations and projects, we recognize the importance of timing and strategic disclosure. Rest assured, we have been diligently working on initiatives that align with our mission and contribute to a sustainable future.

We believe in the power of responsible innovation to address pressing environmental challenges. Our teams are actively involved in the development of projects that span a range of sustainability areas, from carbon reduction to renewable energy solutions and beyond. We want to assure our stakeholders that these projects are a testament to our ongoing dedication to environmental responsibility. In due course, we look forward to sharing the details of these initiatives, showcasing the impact they will have on advancing sustainable practices.

At EKI, our commitment to innovation and environmental stewardship is not just a promise; it's a driving force that propels us to continually explore new frontiers. We appreciate the anticipation surrounding our upcoming projects and innovations, and we are excited about the positive contributions they will make to the global sustainability landscape.

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