Stymied on coal, Adani turns to solar power in Australia

Adani Enterprises Ltd, the Indian mining company whose plans to build Australia's largest coal project have been delayed due to environmental and regulatory hurdles, is now looking to invest in the country's solar-power sector.

The company, controlled by billionaire Gautam Adani, is focusing on solar opportunities in Queensland and South Australia states, it said in an e-mailed statement today. Adani said any solar investment in Australia would come on top of its ambitions to develop the Carmichael mine and rail project in Queensland.

Adani is interested in joining companies from Canada, China and Europe in developing solar projects in Australia with costs projected to halve by the end of the decade. Large-scale solar in the country is forecast to experience a 15-fold increase in capacity by 2021, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

The company has a green-energy unit in India, which targets 10,000 megawatts of photovoltaic capacity by 2022, according to the statement.

Adani's plans to use a port near the Great Barrier Reef have stoked opposition from environment groups. The coal industry is under siege with utilities facing pressure to close aging power plants, countries taking their boldest steps yet to cut greenhouse gas pollution and prices languishing near the lowest levels since 2006.