IESA is very proud to be starting a series of industry Interviews from key stakeholders and players in the Energy Storage Market. This month, John Wood, CEO of Ecoult, speaks with us about his view on the Indian Market, his experience of attending the first tour, and what he thinks are the agents of change for an ideal EES roadmap. 

John Wood is the Chief Operating Officer of Ecoult. He joined the energy storage community in 2008 having previously launched technologies globally in Security, Identity, Payment Technology, and Telecommunications.

As a technology CEO for more than 20 years, John has had the good fortune to have worked with excellent individuals and led excellent teams that have created businesses and numerous successful products and solutions from the ground up that are used and trusted by many of the world’s largest enterprises and governments, either directly or under license by many of the largest global technology enterprises.

John is now leading the Ecoult effort to commercialize the UltraBattery® storage solutions.

Q. Please give an overview of your company and the relevant products /services offered in the Energy Storage domain.
Ecoult delivers energy storage solutions which improve energy reliability and efficiency. Our energy storage systems manage intermittencies, smooth power and shift energy in a safe, reliable and simple way. Our solutions are powered by UltraBattery® – a completely new class of advanced lead-acid battery technology.

Q. It was a pleasure to have you as part of the inaugural IESA Tech Tour last year. Can you share insights from the week-long tour for our audience? 

India’s electricity networks needs are clearly dominated by the deficit of current production against peak demand. This has led to the practice of load shedding being commonplace. The mechanism’s for charging for use of electricity are not yet market based and so this makes investment in infrastructure challenging. Having said that, in the course of the study tour it was clear that there was a push to increase the presence of market systems into the Indian electricity supply network.

While it was very clear that advanced energy storage technologies could make a substantial contribution in the Indian economy it was not so clear how this could be converted into profitable business for the providers of such technology.

Q. What, according to you, are the major drivers / enablers and challenges for promotion / adoption of EES technologies in India?

India is an enigma with the entrepreneurial spirit and profit motive being very high but the bureaucracy being even more substantial. Clearly also there are a number of large commercial enterprises and interests in India that influence the direction of infrastructure development. The greatest challenge would appear to be aligning the potential contribution of the ESS technologies with the interests of the influencers in the Indian market and the application of sufficient sustained focus on execution of a plan.

Q. Can you share your feedback to the IESA regarding

a. The tour experience

The tour simply was excellently organized. Clearly the IESA team had put a tremendous amount of effort into ensuring that we had access to key decision makers so as to facilitate for us a clear view across the marketplace. There was a lot of value packed into each day.

b. IESA’s value addition to the EES market in India

IESA can become a central advocate in the Indian marketplace and provide the sort of sustained focus described earlier in this response. It will take a number of years to develop the potential for ESS in India. If IESA can be persistent and consistent through this effort it can make a very significant contribution.

c. What would you like to see during the next technical tour to be held during April 2013

It will probably take time but the imagination of very senior business people in India will need to be captured (CEO or Head of Sustainability of major companies).


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