03 June 2019
In 2018, UKCI co-invested in a 185 MW portfolio of solar farms in India. In addition to providing enough clean electricity to power approximately 315,000 homes, the portfolio was used to establish the first offshore renewables strategy of its kind in India.
India’s population and economy are expanding quickly. Over the next three decades, the country is forecast to add another 273 million people to its population and become the world’s second largest economy1,2. To enable this development, electricity demand is expected to double3 – with renewables set to play an increasingly important role in the country’s energy mix.
As part of its mandate to promote clean growth in developing economies, UKCI acquired a 40 per cent stake in a 185 MW portfolio of solar farms located in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka. Built to world-class standards in regions highly dependent on fossil-fuel based generation, the four solar farms will help avoid approximately 330ktpa of harmful CO2 emissions over their operational lives4.
In addition to contributing to India’s target of 500 GW of installed renewables capacity by 2030, the solar farms will provide a reliable, safe and clean source of electricity for approximately 315,000 homes each year. The portfolio will also help drive improvements in local air quality and health outcomes for some of India’s poorest – reducing the amount of harmful particulates in the air by displacing conventional generation
UKCI’s investment represents an important development in one of the world’s fastest growing renewables markets, with the portfolio used to establish the first offshore renewables strategy of its kind in India.
By acquiring equity in operational renewable projects, the strategy enables initial stage developers to unlock and recycle more expensive development capital. In doing so, the vehicle also demonstrates that a secondary market for Indian renewables projects exists – giving developers the confidence they need to commit to new greenfield projects in the country.
It is hoped that the successful demonstration of this model could pave the way for more sophisticated investment in India’s green economy – mobilising additional private sector capital to help meet India’s growing clean energy needs.
Following a successful pilot, UKCI and its co-shareholders approved a £1.2 million investment to install robotic waterless cleaning technology at the vehicle’s Bhadla Solar park in Rajasthan.
The technology will adapt the plant, which is located in a water-stressed region, for the expected future impacts of climate change. By reducing the plant’s reliance on already scarce water, this innovative technology will ensure that the solar farm continues to operate efficiently whilst increasing the availability of water for use by local communities and farmers.
Managing Director, UK Climate Investments