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Tuesday, 08 September 2015 21:00

India chasing $100 billion investment in green energy

Foreign investment has long been a complicated process in India but with the government easing restrictions, they are hoping to find international partners to build up the country's green energy sector, Caspian Energy News (www.caspianenergy.net) reports with reference to the Anadolu Agency.

India is looking for $100 billion in investment from home and abroad as it seeks to fund some of the world's largest solar power projects.

One of those is a 750 megawatt project proposed in the Rewa district of central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. The state government has already started setting up the project, to be a joint venture with the state-owned SolarEnergy Corporation of India.

“Green Energy is one sector which has not been tapped in India.  We believe it is one sector where we can easily attract investment. Major international firms have expressed their desire to invest in India,” Madhya Pradesh's energy minister Rajendra Shukla told Anadolu Agency.

Shukla claimed the state will be offering the cheapest solar energy in the world, at 5 rupees ($0.08) per unit.

Almost all Indian states have begun to prioritize solar energy policies after the central government announced subsidies for major projects. They are seen as a potential solution to the power shortages facing most Indian cities because of increasing urbanization and economic development.

The government is also pushing the Solar Cities Program to get state governments to drive energy consumption from renewable resources up to 10 percent, while also implementing more energy efficient measures.

The aim is to treble the current green energy capacity to 100,000 megawatts by 2022. Solar power only accounts for 3,065 megawatts of the current capacity, with most being produced by wind power. Planners believe however that it is solar energy that can attract billions of dollars in investment.

An airport in southern state Kerala became the world's first to be completely solar-powered last month. Its works were completed within six months by a Bangalore-based company that installed 46,000 solar panels on 45 acres of land.

“There are many states where we see a lot of potential in green energy. The Union government is ready to support these states so that solar energy potential could be utilized to the maximum,” Piyush Goyal, India’s energy minister, told reporters in New Delhi recently.

The government has followed this up by subsidizing two schemes in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh and has planned an investment summit to promote the state's potential.

“Many international firms have approached the Uttar Pradesh government for investment in the state. The Union government is also projecting us [Uttar Pradesh] as an investment destination," said an official from the state's renewable energy sector, who did not want to be named. "We believe that investors will get handsome return for their investment."

The Indian government's push has already attracted billions of dollars in investment and partnerships from companies in the U.S., Japan and China.

But India does not only plan to use the investment domestically and instead hopes to export the power; Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi pledged in September to provide 14 Pacific islands with solar power.

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