India marching towards becoming one of the world's largest green energy producers

We feature an interview with Vineet Mittal, Chairman, Avaada Group on India’s rapidly expanding renewable energy segment. Excerpts:

Could you share your views on the prospects for renewable energy in India?

India is ranked 4th in wind power, 5th in solar energy, and 5th in cumulative renewable energy installed capacity. Through strong and robust policies, regulatory strategies, and fiscal measures, India is marching towards becoming one of the world's largest green energy producers. As of November 30, 2020, India's total renewable energy installed capacity had reached over 90 GW. India has witnessed the fastest growth rate in renewable energy capacity addition among the largest economies, with renewable energy capacity growing by 2.5 times and solar energy expanding by over 13 times. Renewable energy now constitutes over 24% of the country's installed power capacity and around 11.62% of the energy generation.

Under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi, India is set to become self-reliant in Solar Manufacturing and Battery Storage. Led by technology enhancement and reforms in labour and land policy, today India is the cheapest Solar power producer globally.

Is the output from renewable energy likely to expand at a rapid pace over the next two to three years?

Yes, of course. India is committed to increasing clean energy sources and is already undertaking various large-scale renewable energy projects and heavily promoting green energy. India has set the target to expand its renewable energy portfolio of 450 GW by 2030. It is expected that by 2040, around 49% of the total electricity will be generated by renewable energy as more efficient batteries will be used to store electricity, which will further cut the solar energy cost by 66% as compared to the current price.

What, according to you, are the financial needs of the sector?

New opportunities have emerged and also been created for new businesses. Indian companies have begun to explore foreign stock exchanges as a source of funds. India is progressively becoming the most-favoured destination for investment in renewables. It has attracted over US $ 42 billion in the last four years of which, US$ 9.68 billion is in the form of FDI equity in the non-conventional energy sector during April 2020 – Sept 2020. Foreign investors are entering into a joint venture with an Indian partner to collaborate and set up renewable energy-based power generation projects.

As estimated by IEEFA, India will require an investment between US $500 billion and US $700 billion in the renewable energy sector and the supporting grid network over the next decade to meet its energy targets.

Could you share your company's activities in this sector?

Avaada Group and is one of the largest Solar IPPs in India. "Avaada" is derived from two words – Ayurveda (the science of life) + Vaada (promise), and thus the enterprise stands for the promise of a sustainable future. One of the pioneers in renewable energy, Avaada, was founded to make the world a better place. It has snowballed and has almost 1 GW of Solar Power assets under operation. We have built some of the largest solar projects across India.

Our growth continues with an impressive pipeline of ~4 GW scheduled to be commissioned in the next couple of years. We aspire to be a 10 GW company by 2025 and be one of the business's largest players. We also have plans for geographical expansion, and following that, we are under advanced stages of PPA finalisation in a few African countries. Also, we are evaluating opportunities in South East Asia in countries like Cambodia, Vietnam, etc.

AVAADA has been a preferred destination for investors because of our professional leadership, strong project execution capabilities, and impeccable debt servicing record. We have received investments from major sovereign funds like ADB, DEG, FMO, and Proparco. Investments by these global financial stalwarts revalidate our ability to set up high performing assets, generating maximum returns for all our stakeholders.