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Thursday, March 23, 2023

Will Tycoon Wealth Matters Hit India’s Green Energy Dreams? 

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Two years ago, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced an ambitious plan to transform India into a green energy giant. Modi also pledged to reduce emissions to net zero or become carbon neutral, meaning that the number of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere will not increase by 2070. Modi also pledged to become carbon neutral by 2030. India will source half of its energy from renewable sources by 2020, reducing projected carbon emissions by 1 billion tonnes by 2020.

One businessman who’s key to Mr. Modi’s green energy plans is Gautam Adani, one of Asia’s richest men who runs a sprawling port-to-energy conglomerate with seven publicly traded companies, including a renewable energy firm called Adani Green Energy. Mr. Adani plans to spend $70bn (£58bn) on green energy and become a global renewable player by 2030. This money is expected to be spent on hybrid renewable power generation, making batteries and solar panels, and using wind energy and green hydrogen. But Adani’s recent problems have raised concerns that it could mean a setback in India’s burgeoning energy ambitions. It lost about $120 billion in market value after releasing reports denouncing a decade of “brazen” stock manipulation and accounting fraud. The group dismissed the claim as malicious and untrue, calling it an “attack on India.”

Experts believe it is too early to judge the impact of recent developments on India’s climate plans. “The Adani Group is a major player in the green energy space. Some of the new investments may be delayed. It will have an impact,” says  Vibhuti Garg of the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. But the renewable energy momentum will continue. India has a combined clean and dirty power generation capacity of 400 GW and plans to add 500 GW of clean power alone by 2030. A transition of this magnitude will not be easy for a country that has historically relied on coal and oil to meet its energy needs.

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