Government Launches Mission to Develop Emerging Technologies in Power Sector

The national mission has been initially planned for 2023-28


The Ministry of Power (MoP) and the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) have launched the Mission on Advanced and High-Impact Research (MAHIR), a national initiative to develop, scale, and deploy indigenous technological innovations in India’s power sector.

The mission aims to bolster research, development, and demonstration of new technologies and help the government get them to the implementation stages. Initially planned for 2023-24 to 2027-28, MAHIR will follow the technology life cycle approach of Idea to Product.

It will be funded by MoP, MNRE, and Central Public Sector Enterprises.

Eight focus areas have been identified for the initial research under the mission, including green hydrogen for mobility alongside high-efficiency fuel cells; carbon capture; alternatives to lithium-ion batteries; and solid-state refrigeration.

MAHIR will have a two-tier structure — a Technical Scoping Committee (TSC) and an Apex Committee.

The TSC will survey and identify the ongoing and emerging areas of research globally and make recommendations to the Apex Committee, which will approve the research proposals and monitor the research progress.

Once research areas are identified and approved, the proposals for outcome-linked funding will be invited from companies/organizations across the globe.

Selection of proposals will be made through a quality-cum- cost-based selection basis.

Union Power Minister R. K. Singh, who will chair the Apex Committee, said, “The Mission will contribute towards achieving the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. In the last nine years, the Indian power sector has transformed into a vibrant and financially viable sector. The electricity demand is going to increase by close to 10% in years to come. In addition, India is aiming for an energy transition following the Prime Minister’s vision of LiFE. This requires not only massive investment but also a transformational approach driven by research & innovation.”

The initiative will support pilot projects of indigenous technologies, particularly developed by India-based startups, and facilitate their commercialization. It will further create knowledge gateways for India through bilateral and multilateral collaborations with governments and institutions overseas, paving the way for technology transfer.

Last month, Singh assured the investor community that the country’s power sector is better than ever. He said India had added 184,000 MW of power capacity since 2014 and acknowledged that this accomplishment was insufficient while reaffirming its commitment to providing 24/7 power without compromising per capita carbon emissions.

Foreign direct investment in India’s renewable energy sector totaled $838 million (~$69.2 billion) in the fourth quarter of the financial year 2023, up 102% year-over-year from $415 million (~$32.1 billion).