Big business groups to push renewable energy space by raising capacity

Two years ago, Ravi Khanna was the chief executive of Scandanavian Advanced Technology, a Norwegian renewable energy firm. Then, he got an unexpected call from the $40 billion Aditya Birla Group, to help kick-start its solar-energy business, which has made significant strides.

Its solar energy capacity has increased from 30 mw two or three years ago to 100 mw in December 2012, and is expected to increase to around 500 mw in four or five years. During this period, it hopes to invest Rs 5,000 crore in the business, up from Rs 200 crore this far. “This is a big boy’s game,” says Khanna. “Whatever the country has built in renewable energy capacity, we can do in a couple of years.”

Several other large groups — including both the Ambani brothers, the Tatas and the Mahindras, and smaller entities such as Welspun — are all making a concerted push into renewables. Their USP: strong balance sheets, in-house technical expertise and access to the latest technology.

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