SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 3 August 2021, Tuesday |

Indian billionaires face off in race to solar domination

Indian tycoon Mukesh Ambani’s $10 billion entry into renewable energy could drive solar tariffs further to the ground and ignite bidding wars with fellow billionaire Gautam Adani, industry analysts say.

India’s two richest men are vying to be at the forefront of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambition to ramp up green energy capacity in the world’s second-most populous country more than four-fold to 450 gigawatts (GW) by 2030.

They have mostly avoided operating in each other’s space and the renewable energy push by Ambani’s flagship Reliance Industries and the Adani group of companies will be the highest profile faceoff between them.

Ambani, 64, built up his family-owned petrochemicals and textiles business into a sprawling empire including telecoms and retail. Adani, 59, is a self-made billionaire who has focused on electricity generation, transmission and distribution and the operation of ports and airports.

The two billionaires – and Modi – are all from the western Indian state of Gujarat.

Ambani announced last month he will build 100 GW in solar energy capacity over the next nine years. He said his group would spend $10 billion over the next three years in building solar manufacturing units, a battery factory for energy storage, a fuel cell factory, and a unit to produce green hydrogen.

Three days later, Adani announced that his green energy venture would add 5 GW every year this decade, from a current level of about 3.5 GW.

Analysts say there is sufficient space for multiple companies to grow as a part of India’s ambitious green energy target, but tariffs could fall further as companies try to outdo each other in aggressive bidding wars to win projects.