As a clear indication that overseas investors are showing interest to invest in the Indian clean energy space, UK’s Green Investment Bank (GIB) plans to become the primary investor of India’s Lightsource Renewable Energy branch in the UK. Recently, GIB was acquired by Macquarie – led consortium of banks for British £2.3 billion last week. Lightsource Renewable Energy is one among the largest developers of solar power plants internationally. The company plans to install a 1000 MW solar power plant in India soon. Read more on Investments
“The talks are on. Lightsource has a proven business model. Macquarie is committed to the Green Investment Bank’s newly established target of £3 billion of new investment in green energy projects over the next three years, either directly or by arranging capital from other investors”, Macquarie said in a statement.
Green Investment Bank (GIB) was established in 2012 and has a dedicated £200 million (Rs. 1,650 crores) to fund Indian and African companies’ projects. Solar power in India has been gaining popularity in the past few years, mainly because solar power is commercially cheaper than power that is derived from burning coal. Presently, in Rajasthan, solar power is commercially sold at Rs. 3 per unit as opposed to Rs. 6 per unit for power derived by burning coal. India is the world’s third largest consumer of energy after the US and China. It plans to produce 100 GW of solar energy by 2022 as part of its global climate change commitments. Lighthouse Renewable had recently hired Rupesh Agarwal as its MD of operations in India.
“In the last five years, Lightsource has deployed over 2 billion pounds to develop and operate 1300MW of solar power plants in the United Kingdom”, Lightsource Renewable Energy said in a statement.
The other foreign companies showing interest to invest in India’s clean energy sector include China’s largest solar equipment maker GCL-Poly Energy Holdings Ltd, Japan’s Mitsui Group, France’s Total SA, State General Reserve Fund of Oman and Investment Corp. of Dubai.
Though there is plenty of coal left in the world (especially in the United States) to meet the world’s energy needs for the next century, burning coal to produce energy (electricity) is environmentally very damaging. Burning coal releases Carbon Dioxide, which is a potent greenhouse gas. In the past fifty years, carbon dioxide’s level in the atmosphere has increased by 34% from its initial level. This has caused global temperatures to rise by an average of 2 degree Celsius every year. It is expected to rise by another 6 degree Celsius over the next decade. This has already affected weather patterns throughout the world. Some regions are facing droughts while others have been battered by severe cyclonic storms and hurricanes. The ice sheets in the Polar Regions like the Arctic and the Antarctic are fast melting. Thousands of square miles of ice sheets in these regions have melted in the past decade causing sea levels to rise globally by 2 feet. If sea levels continue to rise, coastal cities all over the world could be flooded and submerged under the sea. Food supply could also be affected throughout the world due to drought and flooding i.e., destruction of coastal agricultural lands just to name a few problems. Hence, developing clean energy is a must for all nations. The Government of India must create a more business friendly environment in India and fund and promote clean energy startups in India. Read more on Startup News