Bridge India

166 GW of solar investment interest in India in the coming years

In the build-up to the government-sponsored renewable energy investment summit, RE-INVEST 2015 (refer), the organizers asked participating companies to provide non-binding investment indications for the Indian renewable market. The results show a general willingness to set up a whopping 166 GW of solar power generation capacity and 5 GW per year of solar manufacturing capacity (refer).

  •  Private solar developers have indicated announcement of substantial plans during RE-INVEST 2015
  • Indian manufacturers namely Vikram Solar, Waaree Energies and Emmvee Photovoltaic also to announce their plans
  • Overall, the mood in the Indian solar market is upbeat and even if a fraction of these intentions stand the test of time, it is very good news for the sector

Prominent and already active private solar developers that have indicated significant plans include Essel Infra Projects (12 GW), Azure Power (11 GW), SunEdison (10 GW), Welspun (8.7 GW), Renew Power (7 GW) and First Solar (5 GW). Ambitious plans have also been submitted by large Indian conventional power companies such as Adani Power (6 GW) and Reliance Power (6 GW). Even though they have forayed into solar project development in the past, these ambitions mark their serious entry into the Indian solar project development landscape. Apart from this, Raasi Solar Energy, a company promoted by a former Member of Parliament has indicated plans for 10 GW (refer). Sky Power Global, a large Canadian project developer, aims for 9.9 GW. CPEC, a less known player, that had earlier commissioned a project under the Gujarat Solar Policy, has indicated plans for developing 9 GW. Amongst public sector companies, significant interest has come from NTPC (3.3 GW), NEEPCO (2.5 GW), Coal India (1 GW) and Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam (1 GW). In total, 140 developers have made project development commitments (see full list here).

On the manufacturing side, three existing Indian players have indicated their ambitious plans: Vikram Solar (2.3 GW/year), Waaree Energies (2 GW/year) and Emmvee Photovoltaic (750 MW/year). On the finance front, L&T Finance indicated that it wants to finance 6.5 GW and Yes Bank 5 GW of renewables.

On the face of it, these are very impressive numbers and figures. However, in BRIDGE TO INDIA’s opinion, for a large number of commitments on the list, not much thought has gone into arriving at the stated numbers. The exercise serves mainly as a measure of the companies’ ambitions, rather than of specific, actionable strategies. On the other hand, there will be many more investors, developers, financiers and manufacturers in the Indian solar market than those who have here stated their intentions.

Overall, the mood in the Indian solar market is upbeat and even if a fraction of these intentions stand the test of time, it is very good news for the sector. The limited intentions coming from finance, both on this list and in real life, continue to be of concern. However, what is needed much more than intentions to build solar power, are intentions to buy solar power at viable tariffs and with solid PPAs.

1 comment

  • India had earlier set an investment target of $100 billion for the next five years for all types of renewable energy, with wind taking up two-thirds of the total. India gets twice as much sunshine as many European countries that use solar power. But the clean energy source contributes less than 1 percent to India’s energy mix, while its dependence on erratic coal supplies causes chronic power cuts that idle industry and hurt growth.