The fan industry constitutes a significant segment of the engineering sector in India, with approximately 400 MSMEs engaged in the manufacturing of fans and fan components in Kolkata alone. On July 14, 2023, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), in collaboration with the Fan Manufacturers Cluster Foundation of Kolkata (FMCFK), organised a half-day consultation workshop on ‘Manufacturing Energy-Efficient Fans in the MSME Sector: Issues and Remedial Measures’ in Kolkata. The roundtable discussions were co-moderated by Mr Girish Sethi, Senior Director of Energy Programs at TERI, and Dr Sachin Kumar, Director of the Industry, Buildings, and Cooling Programmme at Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation (SSEF).
This workshop brought together key stakeholders from various sectors, including fan manufacturers, decision-makers such as the Department of MSME & Testing (Government of West Bengal), technical agencies, and financial institutions. The event focussed on the challenges faced by small-scale manufacturers in the manufacturing of energy-efficient fans. These were identified as low availability of raw materials, technology, and finance; the need for up-skilling/reskilling in new production methods; awareness and understanding of standards; adequate testing facilities; issues related to star ratings; alignment with larger public procurement policies; power quality issues in rural markets; and more. In the closing remarks, Sakshi Nathani, Assistant Programme Manager, Buildings & Cooling at SSEF, emphasised that fans are essential for providing thermal comfort to many households in India. Enhancing energy efficiency with affordability should be seen as a necessity rather than a luxury while addressing the challenges.