Malaysian government-owned Tenaga Nasional Berhad is exploring the option of setting up a renewable energy platform in India, a person aware of the development said, underlining India’s image as a clean energy champion.
The company supplies electricity to Malaysia’s 31.7 million people.
In April, yet another Malaysian government-owned company, Petroliam Nasional Bhd, or Petronas, had acquired one of India’s largest rooftop solar power producers, Amplus Energy Solutions Pvt. Ltd. The oil and gas company had paid ₹2,700 crore for the deal.
“Tenaga has been looking at India for some time now. The green energy play for them may involve setting up a renewable energy platform and also acquiring assets," the person cited above said, requesting anonymity.
The interest from Malaysia’s largest electricity utility, with a market capitalization of around $18 billion, comes at a time when India’s emerging green economy requires additional investments of $80 billion till 2022, to grow more than threefold to $250 billion in 2023-30, according to the Economic Survey 2019.
India is running the world’s largest renewable energy programme with plans to achieve 175 gigawatts (GW) of capacity by 2022, and 500GW by 2030, as part of its climate commitments. The country has an installed renewable energy capacity of about 80GW.
“Tenaga had earlier invested in GMR Energy Ltd," the person quoted above added.
GMR Energy is a joint venture between GMR Group and Tenaga Nasional Berhad, wherein GMR Group holds a 52% stake, while Tenaga holds 30%. Tenaga is listed on Bursa Malaysia.
India is ranked fourth and fifth, globally, in installed capacities for wind and solar power, respectively. With competitive solar bids and India’s wind energy sector having transitioned from a feed-in tariff regime, which ensures a fixed price for wind power producers, to tariff-based competitive auctions, obtaining finance at the lowest cost has become key. Queries emailed to Tenaga Nasional Berhad on 2 July remained unanswered.
“In India, TNB is partnering GMR group in the energy business and holds 30% shareholding in GMR Energy Ltd. It believes India’s energy sector has long term opportunities for future growth," a GMR Group spokesperson said in an emailed response to queries.
In another development, EDEN Renewables India, a joint venture between Total Eren and EDF Renewables, on Tuesday said the French firms’ JV has inked four power purchase agreements for solar power projects totalling 716 megawatts (MW) in northern India.
“EDF Renewables and Total Eren already operate four solar power plants in India totaling 207 MWp of installed capacity in Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and Madhya Pradesh," the firms said in a statement.
The global energy landscape has been rapidly evolving. In a huge leg-up for green energy investments, the London Stock Exchange (LSE) has classified oil and gas stocks as non-renewable energy. The move marks a fundamental change in the global investment culture, against the backdrop of growing climate concerns with several countries focussing on renewable energy.
Also, multilateral and bilateral agencies, as well as sovereign wealth funds, are not showing interest in businesses that contribute to climate change. The LSE move follows the decision of Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG), the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund, to stop investing in oil and gas explorers globally. India’s Union budget presented on Friday also announced tax breaks to help boost India’s clean economy.