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Norway shows strong favor in Indian market, pour 1B in local solar project

The Norwegian Climate Investment Fund (NCIF) said on Wednesday to invest in a solar power project developed in Rajasthan, India, with a capacity of about 420 MW.

Norway shows strong favor in Indian market, pour 1B in local solar project
Norway shows strong favor in Indian market, pour 1B in local solar project

The fund is jointly managed by Norfund, a Norwegian developing country investment fund, and Norway’s largest pension fund KLP.

The investment is about 2.8 billion Indian rupees (USD 35 million) to acquire 49% of the shares of Thar Surya No. 1 solar energy project, which is developed and constructed by Italian national power company Enel Green Power.

According to a statement by the Norwegian Embassy in India, the NCIF plans to allocate 10 billion Norwegian kroner (USD billion) for the project in India in the next five years, and regard India as a “priority market”. When the project is started and operated, it will provide more than 750 GWh of power per year.

In fact, Norfund and Enel have established a strategic investment partnership focusing on India. Tellef Thorleifsson, CEO of Norfund, is optimistic about the Indian market. He said that this is the first investment made by the company and Enel, and similar investment cooperation will be conducted in India in the next few years.

In addition, Norway’s oil and gas reserves have made it a major exporter of fossil fuels. According to data from financial data service company Refinitiv Eikon, Norway has become the largest natural gas supplier in Europe, surpassing Russia.

In this February, German energy giant RWE and India’s Tata Power announced a cooperation that will focus on developing offshore wind power projects in India. Sven Utermohlen, director of offshore wind energy business of RWE renewable energy department, said, “India has excellent wind energy resources, which helps meet the country’s growing energy demand. If there are clear regulations and effective bidding schemes, we expect that India’s offshore wind power industry will achieve considerable development momentum.”

According to the latest data from the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy of India, in the past seven and a half years, the country’s solar power generation capacity has increased from about 2.6 GW to more than 46 GW. The country expects renewable energy capacity (excluding large-scale hydropower) to reach 175 GW this year, as “the largest renewable energy expansion plan in the world”. However, this is a challenging goal, since as of June 30, the installed capacity of renewable energy excluding large-scale hydropower was 114.07 GW.

India has strong dependence on fossil fuels. As of the end of June, fossil fuel power generation accounted for 58.5% of India’s total installed capacity. In this February, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi pointed out that “in the next 20 years, the energy demand is expected to nearly double. Only through climate justice can we achieve sustainable development of the environment”.

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