China Tycoons to Invest $5 Billion in Indian Renewable Power

Chinese tycoons Liang Wengen and Nan Cunhui plan to pour $5 billion into India’s renewable power sector as Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeks a major expansion of clean energy in one of the world’s biggest polluters.

Liang’s Sany Group will install 2,000 MW of capacity and generate 1,000 jobs from 2016 to 2020 at a cost of $3 billion, a statement released at a briefing in New Delhi on Thursday showed. Chint Group Chairman Nan said at the same event that his company will invest $2 billion in solar power and equipment.

Modi’s goal is 175 GW of green energy capacity by 2022, up from about 37 GW, at an estimated cost of $200 billion – more than the size of Vietnam’s economy. Other billionaires, such as SoftBank Group Corp.’s Masayoshi Son and Foxconn Technology Group’s Terry Gou, have also outlined plans for substantial investment in clean power in India.

The nation remains reliant on coal, which fires about 60 percent of its power generation capacity. Asia’s third-largest economy also needs to find the funds to pay for its green ambitions.

Dollar Contracts

While Modi is trying initiatives, such as dollar-linked solar contracts, to cut costs and woo investment, India has yet to allow higher distribution charges so electricity utilities can afford more renewable supplies.

“There have been billions in commitments made to invest in the Indian renewable sector over the last few years, which the government uses to tout as interest from the private sector,” Raj Prabhu, chief executive officer of Mercom Capital Group, a cleantech communications and research company, said in an e-mailed statement. “However, very little of these commitments turn into a real investment.”

Sany is China’s biggest maker of construction machinery. Liang has a net worth of $3.4 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Chint has total assets of more than $5 billion and 29,000 employees, according to its website.

©2015 Bloomberg News

Lead image: Inida, Jan. 17, 2015: Rooftop of a house showing solar panels. Credit: Ajayptp / Shutterstock.com

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