Solar energy gets a new shine in India
A billion dollars in renewable energy is huge but whenSoftBank of Japan announced investment of $20 billion in India’s renewable energy space, albeit over 10 years, the sector already appears lit up. “Son Masayoshi (the chairman of SoftBank) does nothing small,” Bharti EnterprisesChairman Sunil Mittal said at the announcement of the investment through a three-way partnership between SoftBank, Bharti Enterprises and Foxconn last month.
SBG Cleantech, which will be majority owned by SoftBank, has taken alternative energy to a whole new plane. India is planning to add 100 gigawatt of solar power capacity by 2022, of which SBG Cleantech is looking at a 20 per cent share. This is the biggest ever investment plan in solar energy in India. The venture aims to set up solar power parks in India. The solar panels will be imported initially; subsequently, they could be manufactured in the country.
At the announcement of the venture, Son said the commitment was in response to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call to invest in the sector.
For SoftBank, though, the entry is more than just answering Modi’s call for investment. In October 2011, it had established SB Energy Corp to set up renewable energy capacity in Japan. It has been involved in construction of mega solar power plants at Kyoto and Shinto-mura, Gunma Prefecture. SoftBank has some 20 wind and solar power projects across Japan with capacity of around 392 Mw.