US-based solar power company SunEdison and Indian group Adani Enterprises intend to invest up to $4bn through a joint venture to establish an integrated solar photo-voltaic (PV) manufacturing plant in India.
The announcement was made on the sidelines of the Vibrant Gujarat investment summit, hosted by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to attract foreign investments into the country.
The facility would manufacture low cost photovoltaic solar panels. Both firms have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to set up the facility.
This plant will further the government’s aim to cut down its dependence on coal-based thermal plants and tap power from renewable sources such as solar at cheaper rates.
Currently, solar power costs 50% more than the power generated from conventional sources, such as coal.
SunEdison CEO and president Ahmad Chatila was quoted by Reuters as saying: "This facility will create ultra-low cost solar panels that will enable us to produce electricity so cost-effectively it can compete head to head, unsubsidised and without incentives, with fossil fuels."
Over the next few months, this deal, will, however, be subject to further analysis.
The MoU is considered to be a boon for the Modi Government, which plans to boost renewable energy and manufacturing capacity through the ‘Make in India’ campaign, reports the news agency.
India receives abundant sunshine, twice as much as several countries in Europe. Despite the potential, solar power accounts for less than 1% of the country’s energy mix.
The Modi Government expects to attract firms from Japan, Germany, China and the US to make investments as much as of $100bn over the next seven years in the country’s solar energy industry.
This would boost the solar capacity by 33 times to 100,000MW in addition to creating more than 20,000 jobs.
Image: The facility would manufacture low cost photovoltaic solar panels. Photo: courtesy of SunEdison.