Solar energy in Rajasthan

French giant Engie wins 140 MW projects

Business & Politics

News - Biz@India

February 10, 2016

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French energy giant Engie (ex-GDF Suez) has won 140 MW (Megawatts) solar energy projects: two units of 70MW each, in two sites in the Indian State of Rajasthan (North).

The French group has offered, through its subsidiary SolaireDirect, INR 4.35/kWh (kilowatt-hour) for this tender, another sign that prices for this kind of projects have dropped by more than a third in the last years and that the trend is going on.

Engie, also a world player in utilities and smart cities solutions, intends to play a central role in solar development in India and supports the country strategy to boost drastically renewable energies in its energy mix. It aims between 2015 and 2019 at building 2 GW (Gigawatts) of solar power projects there.

This contract is announced shortly after the official visit to India of French President François Hollande, who was the guest of honour of the Republic Day in Delhi, January 26. It is part of a broader cooperation between India and France in the renewable energies sector. France has fully supported India’s launch of an International Solar Alliance (ISA) last December at Cop21, the world conference on climate change in Paris. India played a key role at Cop21 in reaching an international agreement to start limiting the alarming rise of temperature on earth in the coming decades.

During his visit, President Hollande was at the side of Indian Prime minister Narendra Modi when he unveiled the site for the headquarters of this International Solar Alliance in Delhi. Gérard Mestrallet, Chairman and CEO of Engie, was also there, to represent the Terrawatt Initiative, a global non-profit association.

Terrawatt Initiative’s goal is to define with ISA members the right regulatory framework and solutions to boost the development all over the world of solar generation at an affordable cost. It aims at deploying by 2030 one terawatt, or 1,000 gigawatts, of new solar power capacity, hence its name.

To reach this ambitious goal, one trillion dollars in investments would be needed to develop solar power infrastructure. In India, notably in States with high solar potential such as Telangana, Punjab or Rajasthan.
“The ambitions of the International Solar Alliance seem perfectly achievable and respond to a strong expectation from the market. Indeed, resources from solar are well-known, technology is available, capital is abundant. Everything is ready to make this momentum concrete, as soon as the regulatory framework is there”, said Gérard Mestrallet when ISA was launched.

To develop its Indian strategy, Engie has an Indian team in Pune (Maharashtra, South) and benefits the group international network of experience in solar energy projects, notably in the last Research and Development innovations.

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