(Bloomberg) -- India’s energy transition plans offer a $500 billion investment opportunity for companies through the end of the decade, as the nation seeks a record expansion in clean power, Sumant Sinha, Chief Executive Officer at ReNew Energy Global Plc, said.
The nation, the world’s third largest emitter of greenhouse gases, has set a target to nearly triple its generation capacity from non-fossil sources by 2030. To reach that goal, the government plans to auction 50 gigawatts of wind, solar and hybrid projects every year, offering companies, such as ReNew, a massive opportunity, Sinha told Bloomberg Television in an interview Wednesday.
Besides building wind and solar power projects, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government is also seeking investments in domestic manufacturing of solar panels to make India self-reliant. The government has also embarked on a plan to make India a global hub for production of green hydrogen to tap a market for decarbonization of hard-to-abate industries.
ReNew has plans to invest in the entire decarbonization chain. The company, with about 8 gigawatts of operational capacity, is among India’s top renewables producers and it’s now building a 4-gigawatt a year solar modules manufacturing plant that will become operational this year, Sinha said. The company is doing feasibility studies on a green hydrogen plant in Egypt and exploring other geographies for such projects.
The government’s plan to levy import taxes on cells and modules, although a cause of “temporary disruption” in supplies, will serve the country well, positioning it as an alternative to China in solar module supplies, Sinha said.
India last year applied a 40% import tax on modules and 25% on cells to lure investments in domestic manufacturing of these components and reduce the dependence on China. Border tensions between the two nations have emboldened calls in India to reduce trade with China.
The world’s most populous country has a steep hill to climb to fully achieve its energy transition project. Even with considerable advances in renewable energy, India still relies on coal for roughly three-quarters of power generation, and will need it for years to come.
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--With assistance from Sylvia Klimaki, Francine Lacqua and Tom Mackenzie.
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