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Adani bets big on renewable energy

By Shreya Jai
January 23, 2020 15:27 IST

Eyeing to become India's largest player in 2020 Adani Group plans to invest 70 per cent of its capital expenditure in clean energy and energy efficient systems.

Gautam Adani, chairman of Adani Group, announced the company will become India’s largest renewable energy company in the current year and one of the top three global solar companies by next year.

In a blog post on social media platform LinkedIn, Adani declared the group will invest 70 per cent of the capital expenditure in clean energy and energy efficient systems.

 

Adani in his post said they aim to become world’s largest solar power company by 2025 and the world’s largest renewable power company by 2030.

“We feel confident that we will be able to lead one of the fastest global carbon offsets,” he said.

The announcement comes in wake of investors and infrastructure companies committing allegiance to clean energy and reducing exposure to fossil fuel dependent industries.

The world’s largest asset manager BlackRock announced last week, it will pull out its investments in companies that get 25 per cent of their revenues from thermal coal production, besides making no future direct investment in such firms.

Business Standard reported this could have adverse impact on Indian companies such as NTPC, the Adani group and Coal India (CIL).

BlackRock has investment of $26 million, $19 million and $600,000 in Adani Transmission, Adani Ports & SEZ and Adani Green Energy, respectively.

Similarly, Siemens which is providing signalling system to Adani’s Carmichael coal mine and rail project in Australia, has also indicated increasing footprint in environmentally conscious businesses.

Siemens’ announcement came after teenage environment activist Greta Thurnberg asked the company to cancel its investment in Adani's coal project in Australia.

The Adani group is constructing one of the world’s largest coal mining and rail connectivity project in Australia.

It involves the construction of a thermal coal mine in the North Galilee Basin and a 388 km multi-user rail line linking the mine site with Abbot Point Port.

This will be the first mine in the Galilee Basin, to be developed at a cost of more than $16 billion.

The project has faced protest from across the global environment lobby.

With recent devastating fires in the states of New South Wales and Victoria in Australia, many environment groups are questioning the project, again.

Siemens CEO Joe Kaesar, however, has defended the Carmichael project saying it has been approved under necessary environment protection laws.

He also added, “There is practically no legal and economically responsible way to unwind the contract without neglecting fiduciary duties.

"However, given the importance of legitimate environmental concerns, we have secured the right to pull out of the contract if our customer violates the very stringent environmental obligations.”

Adani currently operates 12 coal and metal mines in India, as a private mining development operator.

It also has operational thermal power capacity of 10,440 MW and 8,760 MW of upcoming thermal power plants in India alongwith a solar power capacity of 1,198 MW and wind power capacity of 347 MW.

Adani in his post said the renewable generation capacity of the group is expected to more than double by 2020, with the implementation of 2.9 GW under construction capacity and further three-fold growth touching 18 GW by 2025.

“To make this happen, we have committed to investing over 70 per cent of our budgeted Capex of the energy vertical into clean energy and energy-efficient systems,” he said.

He said the green expansion plan will also include expansion of the current 1.3 GW solar cell and module manufacturing plant in Mundra to 3.5 GW manufacturing facility.

“We are also in discussions on ventures to enable the world’s only 100 per cent green energy-based chemical manufacturing and data center facilities,” Adani said.

Photograph: Amit Dave/Reuters

Shreya Jai in New Delhi
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