One of the world’s largest mining and steel manufacturing companies — ArcelorMittal — has announced grand plans to develop renewable energy assets in India.
According to media reports, ArcelorMittal has expressed interest in developing renewable energy projects in the Indian states of Rajasthan and Gujarat.
The company is believed to have proposed a 4.5-gigawatt solar park in Rajasthan with an estimated investment value of $2.6 billion. The news reports, however, did not mention the timeline for development of this project. In the recent past, Rajasthan has attracted investment in solar power park development from many private companies in India. These include Adani and IL&FS. These ventures have been highly successful with associated project auctions yielding some of the lowest tariff bids in India.
Rajasthan is a preferred choice for developers to set up projects due to the high solar irradiation available and availability of large non-agricultural areas. With large solar and wind power capacity already operational in the state, transmission infrastructure is also ready for use. The Indian government is also working to further strengthen the transmission network for future renewable energy projects under the Green Energy Corridor programme — a network of transmission projects dedicated for evacuation of renewable power across India.
An incentive offered by the Indian government to renewable energy projects makes Rajasthan an attractive destination for project development. Renewable energy projects selling power to distribution utilities are free to set up projects anywhere in the country without paying any transmission charges. The government recently extended this incentive to all solar and wind power projects commissioned by June 2025.
ArcelorMittal has also announced plans to invest in development of solar and wind energy and green hydrogen projects In the neighbouring state of Gujarat. News reports do not provide any capacity-related details, but the company may invest Rs 500 billion ($6.8 billion) in the state.
Gujarat has been a popular investment destination for the renewable energy sector. A number of solar modules manufacturers have set up shop in the state, including India’s largest cell and module manufacturer — Mundra Solar. More recently, Reliance Industries announced plans to invest $10 billion in the state to set up four gigawatt-scale manufacturing facilities for production of solar modules, batteries, electrolyzers, and fuel cells.
The Indian government, too, is planning to set up large-scale solar power parks in these two states. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy is studying possibilities to set up 55 gigawatts of solar and wind power parks along the international border with Pakistan. Recently, the ministry approved a proposal by NTPC Limited, India’s largest power generation company, to set up a 4.7 gigawatt solar power park in Gujarat.
Rajasthan and Gujarat are among the only five states in India to have more than 10 gigawatts of operational renewable energy capacity — Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Maharashtra being the others. As of last month, Gujarat had 14.7 gigawatts of renewable energy capacity, while Rajasthan had 12.2 gigawatts. Gujarat had 5.7 gigawatts of solar power capacity, while Rajasthan had 7.7 gigawatts. These two states together account for 29% of India’s solar power capacity.
Rajasthan has set a target to have 30 gigawatts of solar power and 7.5 gigawatts of wind and hybrid power generation capacity by March 2025. Gujarat aims to have 30 gigawatts of renewable energy capacity operational by 2022.
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