More and more international companies are now planning to enter the Indian renewable energy sector as it presents a never-seen-before opportunity of growth over the next few years.
Singapore-based Sembcorp has announced that it expects to have a renewable energy portfolio of around 1.4 GW over the next 5-7 years. The company does not have a direct presence in India, but has recently acquired a controlling stake in Green Infra, a leading renewable energy projects developer in India, through a wholly owned subsidiary, which will achieve an operational capacity of 700 MW by the end of the third quarter this year. Most of this capacity will be wind energy-based, though over the next 5-7 years Green Infra is expected to double its renewable energy operational capacity to 1.4 GW, including 1.1 GW of wind energy capacity and 400 MW of solar power capacity.
Sembcorp had earlier acquired stakes in two thermal power projects in southern India that represent over 2.6 GW of power generation capacity. However, according to media reports, Sembcorp seems to be more interested in selling power directly to industrial consumers rather than selling to the distribution companies. Sembcorp officials have the understanding that the distribution companies are not in the financial state to purchase electricity from renewable energy sources even if they are mandated to by law. Since Indian laws allow generators to sell electricity directly to any consumer, the direct sale to industrial and large commercial consumers will prove to be the wiser business decision.
On the other hand, several foreign companies have either invested in Indian renewable energy developers or have set up local subsidiaries to actively participate in the project development market in the country. Some of the major investors include GE Energy Financial Services, the Asian Development Bank, the International Finance Corporation, KfW, Goldman Sachs (through a subsidiary).
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