1. Solar power: Foreign investors show keen interest in India

Solar power: Foreign investors show keen interest in India

The year 2016, was a landmark year for India in its stride towards clean energy; the country became the world’s fourth largest solar market, beating Germany, United Kingdom (UK), and France in a close contest.

Updated: June 10, 2017 5:23 AM
Solar power, Foreign investors, united kingdom, KPMG, MNRE, NSEFI, IEEFA, SASA, Gulf Cooperation Council To accomplish this mission, country’s solar sector requires an investment of over 0 billion. (Reuters)

Ashish Agarwal

The year 2016, was a landmark year for India in its stride towards clean energy; the country became the world’s fourth largest solar market, beating Germany, United Kingdom (UK), and France in a close contest. The ambitious target of 100GW by 2022 is tough, but not impossible. To accomplish this mission, country’s solar sector requires an investment of over $100 billion. But with foreign investors pitching in for the Indian mission, the goal can be achieved. In 2015 alone, the sector was successful in securing more than $278 million through various avenues. International business consulting firm KPMG forecasts that the market share of solar power in India would be 5.7% (54gw) and 12.5% (166gw) in 2020 and 2025, respectively. And the recent developments in the industry ascertain that these figures are quite achievable. In the past two years, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has approved more than 30 parks of a total capacity of about 19 GW across 21 states, including Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Andhra Pradesh. On the other hand, many overseas companies have expressed their interest in making investments with prominent names like Equirus Capital, APG, Fortum Corp and CDPQ. The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) confirms a cumulative investment of over $100 billion by American, Canadian, European, East Asian, and Indian companies in coming years. With the active participation of foreign entities solar tariffs have reached the lowest level in Indian history—ie, below Rs 3 a unit.

But, the most remarkable breakthrough in this direction is the collaboration between National Solar Energy Federation of India (NSEFI), Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and Saudi Arabia Solar Association (SASA). Besides making an investment in the rapidly thriving solar market of India, the collaboration is also aimed to strengthen regional cooperation to deal with common environmental problems such as global warming and climate change. The initiative taken by NSEFI and GCC has induced many manufacturers from the Gulf & UAE for joint ventures and business tie-ups.
To achieve 100 GW by 2022, India must make all the possible efforts in pursuing the foreign investors as solar power is a capital-intensive industry and without adequate funds, plans cannot be converted into reality. Previous two years were significantly encouraging to both domestic and overseas investors. Many global Goliaths are joining hands with Indian industrialists to reap the benefits from a highly promising sector, and many are envisaging the current scenario to enter into sector at the right time and with the right plans.

Writer is Director, sales, Vivaan Solar.
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