According to reports, India is targeting foreign investors as part of its efforts to raise $50 billion worth of investment for its renewable energy sector over the next five years.
Meetings were held with around 40 investors in Britain during the Minister of New and Renewable Energy, Dr Farooq Abdullah’s trip to the country this week, as the first step of an international initiative.
Investments in solar and wind energy continued to attract the most interest, said Mr Gireesh Pradhan, Secretary at the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.
“The investors we met all seemed very enthused and very upbeat about investing in the renewable sphere in India,” he said. The Ministry also hopes to tap investors in Hong Kong, Singapore, and New York in the future and has set up an Investment Promotion Cell within the Ministry to provide a single point of contact for investors.
India recorded the fastest growth in investment in renewable energy globally, with a 62 per cent rise, according to the Renewables 2012 Global Status Report published by the Renewable Energy Policy Network this week.
India was the fifth largest investor in renewable energy last year (China came on top followed by the US, Germany and Italy), and has the sixth largest capacity in the world (excluding hydro).
The Ministry said that a ‘substantial quantum’ of the investments made in 2011 came through the FDI route.
India hopes to raise $19 billion of investment in wind energy, $25 billion for solar, and $3 billion each for small hydro and biomass over the next five years.
“We feel that renewable energy is right now at a stage where it is growing very fast and any investment there would be to the mutual advantage of both sides,” said Mr Pradhan.
Renewable energy currently contributes around 6 per cent to the energy mix in India, way off its 2020 target of attaining 15 per cent of the mix.
However, Dr Abdullah insisted that plans were ahead of course.
“Things are developing beyond our expectations. Some States have taken quantum jumps.”