Renewable Energy Search

Renewable Energy Search is an endeavour by IIM Ahmedabad's Centre for Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE) and Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (Government of India) to identify, encourage and incubate entrepreneurial ideas aimed at solving the energy crisis in the country through creation of viable business models around existing clean energy related technologies.

The program aims at commercializing scalable existing technologies developed by innovators (researchers, individual inventors, start-ups and large corporations) across the world through creation of a viable business around it. The program is focused on supporting entrepreneurial ideas in the energy generation, efficiency and storage space rather than fundamental research.

The program shall provide support recognition, licensing, seed-funding and mentoring to the following groups and invites applications in all the three categories.


The program shall provide funding and mentoring support to technology-based early stage start-ups (even pre-revenue) with viable business model and complimentary team. CIIE shall make an investment of up to Rs 20 lacs per start-up over the next few months and either directly fund or help raise further round of investment in the companies.

Entrepreneurs-in-residence (EIRs)

The program shall also identify entrepreneurs interested in setting up their venture in this growing sector, but not having yet narrowed down on their business idea. Such EIRs shall get to spend 3-4 months with the program as an EIR to identify a proven technology around which they would like to build their venture. Having done that, the EIR shall create a business plan and build a complimentary team around the idea. EIRs with most viable plans shall be provided funding and incubation support under the program.


Innovators (researchers at institutes, corporations, individual inventors etc) interested in commercializing their research work through creation of an enterprise or licensing shall be considered for the "Top Innovator Awards" comprising a cash prize of Rs 5 Lacs apart from incubation and funding or upside from licensing of the technology.



The program shall be a collaborative effort between industry, academia, government and innovators to create sustainable solutions for India’s energy problem and several like-minded organizations across the globe have shown interests in partnering us for this unique initiative. We are currently in the process of evaluating and finalizing tie-ups with these organizations to jointly build these clean energy start-ups. Some of the partners shall include leading technical institutes in the country for technology evaluation, industry bodies like CII for helping raise future investments, venture capitalists for strategic support and government agencies for further grants whenever required.

The program has a very strong backing from the Government of India with Mr. Deepak Gupta, Secretary of Ministry of New & Renewable Energy leading the Advisory Committee.

Energy Issues in India

India’s energy consumption has been increasing at one of the fastest rates in the world due to population growth and economic development but it remains woefully constrained in terms of overall energy availability. Resource augmentation and growth in energy supply has not kept pace with increasing demand and, therefore, India continues to face serious energy shortages. Moreover, our rush to increase energy supplies has led to various environmental consequences, be it through climate change or in the case of coal mining.

Some of the key indicators of India’s energy problems include:

  • Over 40 per cent of the households in India still do not have electricity.
  • About a third of our total primary energy supply still comes from non-commercial sources (biomass, dung).
  • Per capita energy consumption is a third and per capita electricity consumption a fifth of the world average.
  • India faces an enormous demand supply gap of about 11% energy shortage and 14% peak power shortage.

Renewable energy sources and energy efficiency technologies offer viable option to address the energy security concerns.


“India desperately needs development and deployment of clean energy technologies to tackle the growing energy needs and climate change problems. Innovators across the world have come up with interesting technologies which we aim at identifying and then converting them into viable commercial products through creation of enterprises. This program provides a unique opportunity for budding entrepreneurs, start-ups and innovators to come together and solve this enormous problem using our strong network, funding support and other resources”, says Kunal Upadhyay (CEO, CIIE)

 “Deployment is most crucial in the clean energy value chain. Through our strong network, we hope to be able to hand-hold these clean energy technologies and start-ups during their gestation period and quickly test their products into the market through creation of unique business models. This program provides the perfect launch-pad for all clean energy start-ups”, says Pranay Gupta (Joint CEO, CIIE)