India’s current grid is inadequate for carrying its targeted 175GW of renewable energy by 2022 and therefore the grid needs a similar level of attention as renewable technologies are currently receiving in the country, according to participants of a roundtable chaired by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Chief executives and investors from SunEdison, Softbank and Bloom Energy among others, were present at the roundtable where India’s potential to become the “clean energy world capital” was discussed.
Participants said that states and cities in India should take the lead in clean energy schemes, while private investment would be critical to realise the full renewables target.
These claims follow a recent Mercom Capital Group analysis, which reported that private solar developers were concerned by the commercial entrance into India’s solar market of central government bodies such as the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) and Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI).
At the roundtable, the oft-cited poor financial health of India’s distribution companies (Discoms) was also cited as a concern.
Modi said there was a large scope for investment in the renewables sector, pointing to India’s railways, where 100% foreign direct investment (FDI) has been permitted. Modi added that the government is working on issues in regulation and the financial health of Discoms.
Back in June, Softbank kick-started a flurry of announcements from foreign entities planning to invest in India’s solar market, with its plans to invest US$20 billion through a joint venture with Taiwan-based manufacturing services provider Foxconn Technology Group and Indian business conglomerate Bharti Enterprises, named SBG Cleantech.