Softbank’s US$20 billion solar investment ‘game changer’ for India

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email

The US$20 billion investment in renewable energy in India by Japanese telecoms provider-turned solar developer Softbank is a “game changer” for India’s solar ambitions, according to a prominent industry figure.

Softbank is a large, professional, entrepreneurial and external player, which is “putting [its] faith” into the Indian market, Tobias Engelmeier, the founder of consultancy firm Bridge to India told PV Tech.

Engelmeier highlighted that the company would not just build solar plants, but would also provide complete integrated power solutions at scale, including infrastructure to cover all the well-known challenges of India’s market, such as evacuation routes and bottlenecks.

He added: “This is one of the most optimistic signs so far. They have the money that others don’t have, so they come in with huge funds from the outside, which is a kind of trust, and they want to provide solutions to India – so that changes the game.”

Softbank entered the clean energy market after the Fukushima accident and has been working on projects across Asia.

Yesterday the firm announced the formation of a joint venture to be named SBG Cleantech, with Taiwan-based manufacturing services provider Foxconn Technology Group and Indian business conglomerate Bharti Enterprises. SoftBank chairman Masayoshi Son also met Indian prime minister Narendra Modi, power minister Piyush Goyal and minister of state for finance, Jayant Sinha.

SBG Cleantech plans to help India reach its 100GW solar by 2022 target from its current 4GW level, and close up the country’s power deficit.

Engelmeier said the three main “game changers”, would be: Softbank’s ability to provide firm power for customers and utilities; the large scale of its investment; and the “huge sign of trust” put in India by a major, innovative international company looking to build a “real utility business” in India.

Going by Softbank’s previous investment in huge wind parks and the related infrastructure in China, Engelmeier forecast that the firm will focus on India's grid, wind, solar and possibly even storage solutions.

He added: “This is the best news since [India] announced their [solar] targets; the market responds at scale to the new government’s targets and ambitions.”

A Softbank statement said: “Given its vast population, high irradiation, growing energy demand and power deficit, limited access to fossil fuels and a large number of unlit villages, India has great potential to be a major solar market.”

Masayoshi Son said: “Our eyes are trained on India, given the vast potential that the country offers. We have already made considerable investments in the technology sector here. With this partnership, our goal is to create a market-leading ‎clean energy company, to fuel India's growth with clean and renewable sources of energy.”

Bharti veteran Manoj Kohli will be executive chairman of SGB Cleantech and Raman Nanda the chief executive. The company will be headquartered in Delhi.

In another major investment in January, SunEdison and Adani Enterprises announced plans to invest up to $4 billion in a solar panel manufacturing facility in India.

18 October 2021
Intersolar South America, South America’s largest exhibition and conference for the solar industry, takes place at the Expo Center Norte in São Paulo, Brazil on October 18–20, 2021, and has a focus on the areas of photovoltaics, PV production and solar thermal technologies. At the accompanying Intersolar South America Conference, renowned experts shed light on hot topics in the solar industry.
19 October 2021
This year’s EV World Congress will hold a special role, not only as the first live EverythingEV event in over a year – a chance to renew your connections and re-engage with the EV sector face to face – but also as a chance to share insight and inspiration as world starts to look towards move on post COVID towards hitting ambitious decarbonisation goals in 2030 and beyond. As ever, we will be bringing world leading organisations, cities, and technology providers to the UK to inspire EV innovators, and delve into the challenges facing the sector as the UK looks to revolutionise road transport.
20 October 2021
Utility-scale solar is evolving, shaped by higher power modules and demand for increasingly lower levelised cost of electricity (LCOE). Those trends are also changing project requirements elsewhere, with inverters capable of delivering high power density and power capacity in strong demand. In this webinar, FIMER will detail how its innovative high-power, multi-MPPT string inverter and modular conversion solution can both meet those demands and transform the utility-scale solar sector for the better.
20 October 2021
The race is on but we need to sprint… With global climate talks fast approaching and time running out to prevent the most disastrous impacts of climate change, now is the time to act. The Summit will explore the opportunities that emerge from taking action on climate change and provide a clear pathway forward for governments, citizens and companies. Taking place just 10 days before the G20 meeting in Rome, on 30-31 of October, and in the lead up to the critical COP26 meeting in Glasgow from 31 October–12 November, this event will be instrumental in influencing ambitious global action.
10 November 2021
The solar tracker market continues to mature at breakneck speed, with designs and component selections becoming ever-more complex in the pursuit of better project economics. But a more simplistic design could deliver a triple benefit of lower Capex, EPC and Opex costs. This webinar will set out the ideal single axis tracker design for utility-scale solar farms. The design leapfrogs from decades of experience, with a comprehensive understanding and attention to the three cost structures of Capex, EPC and Opx. Sun and Steel Solar has prototyped a single axis tracker designed to deliver up to US$0.03/W in real savings compared to existing single axis trackers on the market. That’s US$30 million for every gigawatt deployed.
15 November 2021
The 10th edition of the famous Metallization and Interconnection Workshop, MIW2021, will take place in the Thor Central venue in Genk, Belgium, on Monday, November 15, and Tuesday, November 16, 2021 as a face-to-face meeting. We are longing for direct exchange of knowledge and ideas after a long time. Hopefully you can be part of it! But of course, the organizors will keep an eye on the evolution of the Covid pandemic. It will be assess carefully, whether the workshop can be held without major risks or excessive restrictions. We are looking forward to exciting talks, discussions and meetings and to welcoming you in Genk!

Read Next

October 15, 2021
US residential solar financier GoodLeap has raised US$800 million to expand into the broader market for sustainable home improvement, other carbon-reducing products and later commercial offerings and electric vehicles (EVs).
October 15, 2021
Doral Renewables has broken ground on the 1.65GWdc Mammoth Solar project in Indiana, set to be the US’ largest solar farm once complete.
October 15, 2021
European renewables investment management firm Greencoat Capital has confirmed its entry to the US renewables market and is plotting to invest up to US$5 billion over the next five years.
October 15, 2021
The European Commission (EC) has urged member states to accelerate solar deployment in order to tackle Europe’s rising electricity prices and has released a ‘toolbox’ to address the short-term impact of prices and strengthen resilience against future shocks
October 14, 2021
Europe’s most competitive renewable power purchase agreement (PPA) offers rose 8% quarter-on-quarter as Europe’s worsening energy crisis bites, according to US firm LevelTen Energy’s Q3 2021 PPA Price Index report.
October 14, 2021
JinkoSolar has laid claim to a new n-type monocrystalline silicon solar cell conversion efficiency record, taking that efficiency rating to 25.4%.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
October 19, 2021
Upcoming Webinars
November 10, 2021
8am (PST) | 5pm (CET)
Solar Media Events
December 1, 2021