SoftBank, Bharti, JBIC chiefs meet PM over solar investments

Top officials from SoftBank Corporation, Bharti Enterprises and Japan Bank for International Cooperation called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the capital today.

The officials included Masayoshi Son, chairman and CEO of Soft Bank Corporation, Sunil Bharti Mittal, chairman of Bharti Enterprises and Tadashi Maeda, senior MD of the Japan Bank for International Cooperation.

They are reported to have expressed keenness to invest in the renewable energy sector in India as part of the ''Make in India'' initiative.

The continued fall in the cost of solar power production, which is expected to reach parity with conventional energy by 2017, has ignited interest in its potential.

The price of solar energy has come down significantly from Rs17.90 per unit in 2010 to under Rs7 per unit, thereby reducing the need of viability gap funding (VGF) per MW of solar power.

With technology advancement and market competition, this green power is expected to reach grid parity by 2017-18.

SoftBank said Foxconn will help with planned solar equipment manufacturing for the projects and that the two companies are looking at manufacturing equipment in India.

India is stepping up its solar power capacity target under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM) five-fold, to reach 100 GW by 2022, against the earlier target of 20 GW.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is looking to industry for help in funding what could be a $100 billion expansion in clean energy.

The target will principally comprise of 40 GW rooftop and 60 GW through large and medium scale grid connected solar power projects.

The total investment in setting up 100 GW is estimated at around Rs6,00,000 crore.

Solar energy in India is likely to grow by 250 per cent in 2015.

Globally, renewable energy outpaced the growth of fossil fuels in 2015 and a record 107 GW was added through wind, solar, geothermal and other natural sources.