Downturn hits renewables; solar plan by December

Downturn hits renewables; solar plan by December

New Delhi: The global financial crisis is hurting India’s hopes of attracting about $21 billion (Rs1 trillion) worth of investments in renewable energy by 2012, but a new solar plan expected to be rolled out by December could provide a boost.

Renewables energy officials said on Monday they had already received more than $3 billion worth of investment since 2007, which could generate about 3,000 MW of power, almost half of it from wind energy alone.

Domestic and foreign companies such as Tata group and Reliance Industries Ltd as well as state-run utilities are among hundreds of companies vying for a stake in India’s emerging green energy sector.

But the global financial crisis may have slowed investments and India could find it difficult to meet its target of generating 14,500 MW of green power by 2012.

“We were quite hopeful but it may not be possible to do so (now)," Deepak Gupta, the most senior civil servant in the renewables ministry, said.

India aims to generate 25,000 MW from renewable energy over the next four years, more than double the current generation level of 12,000 MW.

Only 3% of India’s total power mix is now from renewables.

“We hope to roll out the plan by the end of this calender year," Gupta said.