Investment in solar in India continues as two firms eye large PV projects


As momentum for renewable energies in India gathers pace, more and more companies seem to want to get in on the act. A large catalyst for growth in India’s renewable sector came last year, as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi made strong commitments to a clean energy future, especially in solar PV, calling for a 100 GW capacity by 2022, which begins with a 12 GW target of PV installed in 2016 alone.

The signs in 2016 have already been encouraging that these installations goals are being taken seriously, and just this week news has emerged of two new large investments for solar PV projects in the country.

Finnish company Fortum announced on Tuesday that it has chosen India as the first country in which it hopes to expand its geographical scope outside its current business portfolio. The company is targeting a “gigawatt-scale wind and solar portfolio” it said in a statement. “The country offers one of the best solar resources and a sound government support for the development of the solar sector.”

Investment in the range of €200-400 million will be allocated to solar projects across different states in India, which are to be selected from central, state and public sectors schemes, and which can guarantee long-term power purchase agreements. “On 12 April 2016, Fortum decided to bid for an additional 100 MWs in India, with a fixed tariff for 25 years,” the statement continued.

The announcement came on the same day that Mint reported advanced talked between IDFC Alternatives and ACME Solar for $90 million worth of investments in solar projects in India. The large investment for IDFC Alternatives would be for the completion of various different ACME Solar projects across India. The Indian company currently has solar projects in Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu, so the investment is most likely to be for these.

These proposed investments fit in to an emerging trend in 2016 for solar investment in India. Just last week, India’s state-owned power utility, NTPC, announced investment approval for two solar projects in Rajastan and Madhya Pradesh, which total 510 MW. Total investment in the projects is expected to reach $467 million.

It also fits the discourse within the International Energy Agency Photovoltaic Power Station Programme’s (IEA PVPS) Snapshot of Global Photovoltaic Markets 2015, which described India as “the rising star in the PV sector