India
Environmental Technology

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.

Last published date: 2020-08-25

Overview

India’s persistent air and water pollution problems will create a steady demand for environmental technologies and solutions in the coming years.  For 2020, industry experts estimated India’s overall environmental technologies market, including goods and services, to be worth over $22.3 billion.  The International Trade Administration’s 2019 Top Markets Report on Environmental Technologies (released in April 2020) ranks India as the sixth largest world market overall, with subsector rankings of second for water/wastewater management, ninth for air pollution control, and eighth for solid waste and recycling segments. 

India’s complex environmental regulations hinge on five major pieces of legislation: The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986; Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980; Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972; the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974; and the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981.  In 2010, the federal government established the National Green Tribunal to better uphold these environmental protections.  The Tribunal is an increasingly integral force in the effort to create a more sustainable national development path.  More recently, India launched an Environmental Sustainability Index at the state level to focus on population pressures, waste management, and environmental budgeting.  

The Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change (MoEFCC) is the federal agency responsible for implementation and oversight of environmental laws in India.  The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) implements the policies framed by the MoEFCC and provides technical services to the Ministry.  Enforcement, however, is delegated to the state level through State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs), or Pollution Control Committees in the seven union territories that answer to state government heads rather than the federal authority.  This decentralization of enforcement contributes to the fragmentation and inconsistent application of rules across provinces, lack of transparency in regulations and practices, poor implementation of regulations, weak regulatory compliance, and corruption in some areas.  The CPCB identified 17 highly polluting industrial categories, including iron and steel plants, non-ferrous metallurgical units, pharmaceutical and petrochemical complexes, fertilizers and pesticide plants, thermal power plants, textile manufacturers, pulp and paper factories, tanneries, and chlor-alkali units.  The SPCBs focus on managing these 17 industries in their states. 

Increasingly, U.S. exports of services are overtaking exports of equipment, due to increases in technology licensing, engineering contracts, and consultancy work in this market.  As environmental technology and solutions become more complex, it can be difficult to track exact trade figures, but growth trends can be estimated by tracking India’s imports of the key categories of equipment used to address environmental challenges.    

Environmental Technology Equipment

 

2017

2018

2019

2020 est.

Total India Imports

690

829

936

1200

Imports from the United States

103

155

126

180

U.S. Share of Imports

15%

19%

13%

15%

Source: Global Trade Atlas (HTS 842121, 842139, 842199, 902710)   Units: $ million

Leading Sub-Sectors

Promising sub-sectors in pollution control equipment include:

  • Water and wastewater management
  •  Water quality monitoring                  
  • Air pollution control / Air quality monitoring                                      
  • Municipal solid waste management
  • Environmental engineering procurement construction services.  

Water and wastewater management is the most promising sub-sector in India’s environmental technology segment.  Currently in India, nearly 40 percent of industrial water and 63 percent of municipal wastewater gets discharged untreated into local rivers and streams.  Less than 1 percent of the treated wastewater is reused.  India’s demand for water is projected to be twice as much as the available supply by 2030.  To overcome these challenges, India’s water and wastewater sectors have ambitious plans to develop comprehensive water and wastewater treatment and distribution infrastructure for both the public and private sectors.  In 2020, India had at least 157 tenders for water treatment, transmission, desalination, and industrial reuse projects (Global Water Intelligence, "Pipeline Data," 2020). 

pollution control equipment is also in high demand, as many of the world’s most polluted cities are located in India.  Currently, 54 percent of India’s installed power generation capacity is fueled by coal-fired power plants.  In December 2015, the MoEFCC mandated all thermal power plants to achieve a 60-80 percent reduction in particulate matter (PM), sulfur oxides (SOx), nitrogen oxides (NOx), and mercury emissions by 2022.  To comply with this mandate, power producers will need to procure and install technology for emissions control.  The most challenging piece of the government's plan will be to retrofit 440 power units of 166.5 Gigawatts (GW) capacity with flue gas desulphurization (FGD) systems by December 2022.  NTPC Limited has been the frontrunner in soliciting bids for FGD systems and has already awarded 27.5 GW through December 2019.  India is the largest emitter of SOx in the world, accounting for 15 percent of the anthropogenic emissions.  FGD installations can help reduce these emission amounts significantly. 

Waste management equipment and service companies will also find opportunities, as government programs have created demand for waste hauling, waste compacting, waste processing and waste-to-energy equipment meeting international standards.  In 2014, the Government of India launched its flagship urban cleanup and sanitation program, the Swachh Bharat Mission, with the twin objectives of making urban India free of open defecation and implementing 100 percent scientific practices for solid waste management.  Government records show significant strides in both these areas – open defecation has been eradicated from most of India’s urban areas and the scientific processing of solid waste, which was only 18 percent in 2014, has achieved 65 percent coverage in 2020.  In addition to new regulations for landfills and solid waste processing, the government has also providing funding for waste-to-energy projects and other solutions for the upgradation of cities.

Opportunities

Government of India allocated over $4 billion through six projects to improve access to clean piped water, improve sanitation, agricultural water use efficiency, river cleanup and groundwater management. In May 2019, the government created the new Jal Shakti Ministry, bringing all water-related agencies under one ministry to provide safe drinking water to the people of India.  The Jal Shakti Ministry immediately launched its Jal Jeevan Mission - a national initiative to provide piped drinking water to 146 million households in 700,000 villages by 2024.  The mission earmarked a budget of $51 billion to be given to the states to increase household water connection coverage from 18.33 percent in 2019 to 100 percent by 2024.  This ambitious project will create opportunities for suppliers of water meters, water quality monitor suppliers, water management related IT systems, tertiary treatment technology, and water EPC (Engineering, Procurement, Construction) companies.

Major initiatives by the Government of India on air pollution mitigation include the National Clean Air Program (NCAP), launched in January 2019 with the objective to reduce pollution levels by 20-30 percent in next five years.  The NCAP calls for the reduction of emissions, the expansion of air monitoring networks, capacity building for pollution management, and the strengthening of public awareness.  The NCAP also sets a target to install 150 new real-time air monitoring stations, and to increase the number of manual monitoring stations from 703 to 500. The Government of India in 2020-21 allocated $595 million to encourage states to achieve clean air targets.  India has committed to reduce emission intensity by 33-35% over 2005 levels and generate 40 percent of its power from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030.   

The CPCB, along with several regional pollution control boards, is in the process of issuing tenders for the installation of Continuous Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Stations (CAAQMS) in different cities across India.  NTPC Limited, a public sector undertaking engaged in power generation and related activities, will provide financial support to the CPCB to procure and install 25 CAAQMS in six states and three union territories.  The data collected from these stations will be used as inputs to create Air Quality Index evaluations for the respective cities.  In addition to the procurement of equipment, these developments will necessitate the need for consultancy services to analyze the data collected, identify the pollution source apportionment, and recommend appropriate actions for pollution abatement.

We advise U.S. companies to monitor the U.N. Development Business, World Bank, Asian Development Bank, the Japan Bank for International Cooperation websites and publications for soft loan and grant funded project announcements.  These projects offer significant front-end consulting opportunities and the possibility to supply equipment during the project implementation phase. 

For more information about opportunities in this sector contact U.S. Commercial Service Industry Specialist: Arup Kumar Mitra.

​​​​​​​Water and wastewater management is the most promising sub-sector in India’s environmental technology segment.  Currently in India, nearly 40 percent of industrial water and 63 percent of municipal wastewater gets discharged untreated into local rivers and streams.  Less than 1 percent of the treated wastewater is reused.  India’s demand for water is projected to be twice as much as the available supply by 2030.  To overcome these challenges, India’s water and wastewater sectors have ambitious plans to develop comprehensive water and wastewater treatment and distribution infrastructure for both the public and private sectors.  In 2020, India had at least 157 tenders for water treatment, transmission, desalination, and industrial reuse projects (Global Water Intelligence, "Pipeline Data," 2020). 

pollution control equipment is also in high demand, as many of the world’s most polluted cities are located in India.  Currently, 54 percent of India’s installed power generation capacity is fueled by coal-fired power plants.  In December 2015, the MoEFCC mandated all thermal power plants to achieve a 60-80 percent reduction in particulate matter (PM), sulfur oxides (SOx), nitrogen oxides (NOx), and mercury emissions by 2022.  To comply with this mandate, power producers will need to procure and install technology for emissions control.  The most challenging piece of the government's plan will be to retrofit 440 power units of 166.5 Gigawatts (GW) capacity with flue gas desulphurization (FGD) systems by December 2022.  NTPC Limited has been the frontrunner in soliciting bids for FGD systems and has already awarded 27.5 GW through December 2019.  India is the largest emitter of SOx in the world, accounting for 15 percent of the anthropogenic emissions.  FGD installations can help reduce these emission amounts significantly. 

Waste management equipment and service companies will also find opportunities, as government programs have created demand for waste hauling, waste compacting, waste processing and waste-to-energy equipment meeting international standards.  In 2014, the Government of India launched its flagship urban cleanup and sanitation program, the Swachh Bharat Mission, with the twin objectives of making urban India free of open defecation and implementing 100 percent scientific practices for solid waste management.  Government records show significant strides in both these areas – open defecation has been eradicated from most of India’s urban areas and the scientific processing of solid waste, which was only 18 percent in 2014, has achieved 65 percent coverage in 2020.  In addition to new regulations for landfills and solid waste processing, the government has also providing funding for waste-to-energy projects and other solutions for the upgradation of cities.

Opportunities

Government of India allocated over $4 billion through six projects to improve access to clean piped water, improve sanitation, agricultural water use efficiency, river cleanup and groundwater management. In May 2019, the government created the new Jal Shakti Ministry, bringing all water-related agencies under one ministry to provide safe drinking water to the people of India.  The Jal Shakti Ministry immediately launched its Jal Jeevan Mission - a national initiative to provide piped drinking water to 146 million households in 700,000 villages by 2024.  The mission earmarked a budget of $51 billion to be given to the states to increase household water connection coverage from 18.33 percent in 2019 to 100 percent by 2024.  This ambitious project will create opportunities for suppliers of water meters, water quality monitor suppliers, water management related IT systems, tertiary treatment technology, and water EPC (Engineering, Procurement, Construction) companies.

Major initiatives by the Government of India on air pollution mitigation include the National Clean Air Program (NCAP), launched in January 2019 with the objective to reduce pollution levels by 20-30 percent in next five years.  The NCAP calls for the reduction of emissions, the expansion of air monitoring networks, capacity building for pollution management, and the strengthening of public awareness.  The NCAP also sets a target to install 150 new real-time air monitoring stations, and to increase the number of manual monitoring stations from 703 to 500. The Government of India in 2020-21 allocated $595 million to encourage states to achieve clean air targets.  India has committed to reduce emission intensity by 33-35% over 2005 levels and generate 40 percent of its power from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030.   

The CPCB, along with several regional pollution control boards, is in the process of issuing tenders for the installation of Continuous Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Stations (CAAQMS) in different cities across India.  NTPC Limited, a public sector undertaking engaged in power generation and related activities, will provide financial support to the CPCB to procure and install 25 CAAQMS in six states and three union territories.  The data collected from these stations will be used as inputs to create Air Quality Index evaluations for the respective cities.  In addition to the procurement of equipment, these developments will necessitate the need for consultancy services to analyze the data collected, identify the pollution source apportionment, and recommend appropriate actions for pollution abatement.

We advise U.S. companies to monitor the U.N. Development Business, World Bank, Asian Development Bank, the Japan Bank for International Cooperation websites and publications for soft loan and grant funded project announcements.  These projects offer significant front-end consulting opportunities and the possibility to supply equipment during the project implementation phase. 

For more information about opportunities in this sector contact U.S. Commercial Service Industry Specialist: Arup Kumar Mitra.