Investors move to capitalise on India’s solar energy push

Indian and foreign companies and investors are moving to capitalise on the push to boost solar energy production.

The government has set a target of generating 100 gigawatts of solar power by 2022.

On Monday it was revealed that Coal India, which is state-run, would invest 60 billion rupees (Dh3.33bn) to set up 1,000 megawatts of solar power units over the next five to six years, according to the Economic Times, an Indian business newspaper.

ReNew Power, an Indian renewable energy company with a pipeline of 700MW solar projects across India, last month announced that a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Investment Authority had invested US$200 million to take a minority stake in the company. At the same time, ReNew said that Goldman Sachs had also injected $50m into the company to take its total investment to $370m.

The US company SunEdison this month won a bid to sell solar power at a record low tariff in India of 4.63 rupees per kilowatt-hour at a 500MW project in Andhra Pradesh, south India, Reuters reported. This undercut the 5.05 rupees per kilowatt-hour tariff for the Canadian company SkyPower’s project in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, according to the newswire.

Japan’s SoftBank and Taiwan’s Foxconn, known for manufacturing smartphones including the iPhone, in June announced that they would invest $20bn in solar projects, along with India’s Bharti Enterprises.

Tata Power, which is part of Tata Group, on Monday announced plans to “focus on renewable energy capacity addition and restructuring of its renewable energy assets as part of its growth focus in the renewable energy space”.

This would involve carving out renewable energy assets, including solar power assets, to its subsidiary Tata Power Renewable Energy Limited (Tprel).

This subsidiary is “the primary vehicle through which Tata Power’s goal of 20 to 25 per cent generation capacity from clean energy sources will be achieved”, Tata Power said.

“The proposed transfer of the renewable energy business of the company to Tprel would enable Tprel to tap different and competitive sources of capital to fund its growth plans.”

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Rebecca Bundhun

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