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500MW of renewable energy projects for India

One of NTPC’s energy
plants “’ the company
serves 33% of the
Indian market
New Delhi, India — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 29 November 2010 – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has signed a joint venture deal to develop and operate 500 MW of renewable energy projects in India in the next three years.

A statement released here said ADB would invest USD$40 million to take a 25% stake in the company, along with India’s NTPC Ltd (50%) and Japan’s Kyushu Electric Power Company (25%). The bank aimed to invest US$2 billion a year in renewable-energy and energy-efficiency projects in Asia and the Pacific.

“The new joint venture company will help India achieve its goal of reducing the country’s dependence on fossil fuels, will cut greenhouse gas emissions and will improve its energy security,” said Michael Barrow, Director in ADB’s Private Sector Operations Department (PSOD). “We hope this company will also provide an example to other foreign investors looking at India’s renewable energy sector.”

India’s electricity supply fails to meet demand, triggering regular blackouts, and is largely generated from increasingly uncertain domestic sources of coal or ever-more-expensive imported coal.

A National Action Plan on Climate Change targets 15% of India’s power coming from renewable sources by 2020 – a rise from a current figure of 10%. About 65% comes from mostly coal-fired thermal power plants, and hydropower and nuclear power make up the remaining 25% of generation.

“India now has the capacity to generate just over 11 000MW of wind power but, with the right investment, that could increase to almost 48 000MW,” said Don Purka, senior investment specialist with ADB’s PSOD. “At the same time, small hydropower has the potential to generate about 15 000MW of power and, what’s more, is often the best way of providing electricity to low-income households in remote areas.”

NTPC is India’s largest power generating company, with a 33% market share. While majority-owned by the government, it operates on a commercial basis as an independent company. It aims to raise its current generating capacity of 32 694MW to 75 000MW by 2017.