India is set to see investments to the tune of around $500 billion in the renewables sector if the country has to achieve the target of 450 gigawatts (GW) of capacity by 2030, said a report by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA).
The report highlighted that a huge global capital pool is mobilising to invest in renewable energy and grid projects in India, with pull factors including solar power tariffs hitting record lows, plunging solar module costs, record low-interest rates, and the security of government-backed, 25-year power purchase agreements (PPAs). The renewable energy sector in India has received more than $42 billion in investment since 2014.
“We estimate that striving for 450 gigawatts of renewable energy by 2030 would require deploying $500 billion of investment over the coming decade – $300 billion for wind and solar infrastructure, $50 billion on grid firming investments such as gas-peakers, hydro and batteries, and $150 billion on expanding and modernising transmission and distribution,” said Tim Buckley, Director Energy Finance Studies, South Asia, at the IEEFA.
The country’s untapped renewable potential at 900 gigawatt (GW) is the most in the world. It is estimated that India’s peak power demand will rise to 295GW by 2021-22 and 690GW by 2035.
“Domestic and global institutions across the financial, corporate, energy, utility and government sectors are primed to deploy a wall of capital that India needs to fund its ambitious renewable energy targets,” he added.
This includes the capital cost of adding more than 300GW of new renewables infrastructure, firming low-cost but intermittent renewable power generation, and expanding and modernising grid transmission and distribution.
The sources of capital range from private equity, global pensions funds and sovereign wealth funds, to oil and gas majors, multinational development banks and Indian state-owned enterprises and power billionaires, the report added.
The report stated that the Indian renewables sector is increasingly dominated by the major independent power producers (IPPs):ReNew Power, Greenko, Adani Green, Tata Power, ACME, SB Energy, Azure Power, Sembcorp Green Infra and Hero Future Energies, and that each has invested strongly in building capacity in international debt and equity markets.
But, these renewable energy giants face growing competition from the likes of Vena Energy/Vector Green, O2 Power, Ayana Renewable Power, Torrent Power and Sprng Energy, as well as Government of India fossil fuel majors starting to rise to the decarbonisation challenge such as NTPC and NLC, with Coal India Limited and Indian Railways increasingly looking to pivot aggressively as well, it said.