The public sector unit (PSU) hopes to land overseas business under the aegis of International Solar Alliance (ISA). ISA, the first treaty-based international government organization headquartered in India will see the number of inducted countries that have signed its framework agreement reach 100 nations at its second general assembly to be held from 30 October—2 November.
“There was a plan earlier to float SECI Videsh on the lines of ONGC Videsh. However, it lost traction. Lets see, how does the plan unfolds this time," said a senior Indian government official requesting anonymity.
SECI has been leading the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government’ efforts rejig its energy mix in favour of green energy sources by conducting the bid process. This has helped India emerge as a clean energy champion. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also recently gifted $1 million ‘Gandhi Solar Park’ to the United Nations when he attended the Climate Action Summit 2019 in New York.
“The plan to facilitate SECI’s overseas foray is at a preliminary stage," said a second Indian government official who also did not want to be named.
The International Solar Alliance initially envisaged a group of 121 sunshine countries situated between the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn as its members. However, later all United Nations members were made eligible for ISA membership. With 76 countries currently signatories to the landmark agreement, ISA has become India’s calling card on climate change and is increasingly being viewed as a foreign policy tool, especially with India and France front-ending efforts to set up the ISA.
At present, India has an installed power generation capacity of 357,875MW, of which around 22%, or 80.47 GW, is generated through clean energy projects. Of this solar and wind comprises 29.55 GW and 36.37 GW respectively. With addition of large hydro projects to clean energy segment, India is poised to have 225 GW of renewable energy by 2022.
Queries emailed to Jatindra Nath Swain, managing director, SECI and a spokesperson for India’s ministry of new and renewable energy on Sunday evening remained unanswered.
India also plans to help set up a global electricity grid that may initially aim to link countries such as Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam with the sub-continent as part of an evolving energy security architecture. The proposals for the same will be presented at the second general assembly of the ISA.
There are also new plans in the works. Mint reported on 12 September about the central government’ plan of making state-run companies build massive clean energy parks to help developers achieve economies of scale and further bring down solar and wind power tariffs.
These include state-run companies present in the conventional power space such as NTPC Ltd, NLC India Ltd (earlier known as Neyveli Lignite Corp. Ltd) ,and Power Grid Corp. of India Ltd (PGCIL). The NDA government’s push may also see participation from other hydropower public sector units (PSUs) such as North Eastern Electric Power Corp. Ltd (Neepco), NHPC Ltd, Tehri Hydro Development Corp. Ltd (THDC), SJVN Ltd (SJVNL), and Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC).
Setting up such parks will provide heft to India at the world stage specifically in the view of a rapidly evolving global energy landscape and a fundamental change in the global investment culture.
These proposed ultra mega renewable energy power parks (UMREPP) of 2,000 megawatts (MW) involving a cost of around $2 billion each, are to be set up in wind and solar resource rich states such as Jammu and Kashmir, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Telangana.
India, the biggest emitter of greenhouse gases after the US and China, has been pushing for a clean energy fuelled economy. India plans to reduce its carbon emissions by 33-35% from its 2005 levels by 2030, as part of its commitments to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change adopted by 195 countries in Paris in 2015.