The deals included £2 billion of investment in India by Solar Trade Association member Lightsource Renewable Energy. The deal will mean Lightsource will design, install and manage around 3GW of solar power infrastructure in India over the next five years.
The company sees the investment as an illustration of the booming international opportunities available if the UK Government retains a strong domestic solar industry. Modi’s visit coincides with the British solar industry reeling from Government plans to implement drastic cuts to the sector. However, the Lightsource deal will create an expected 300 jobs and £42 million of revenue in the UK, as well as benefiting hundreds of families in India.
Nick Boyle, the CEO of Lightsource Renewable Energy, said: “We are delighted to be announcing this investment in India. The Government in India has ambitious plans to electrify India and Lightsource will contribute significantly to that goal. India will be a key market for Lightsource in the future. We are excited to be working with Srei, our first partner, who will be helping us towards achieving our solar PV deployment goals in India.”
The PM’s visit precedes the UN Paris climate conference where Modi will launch his International Agency for Solar Policy and Application initiative. Modi has invited 110 nations to join the initiative which is expected to attract $100 billion of solar business by 2020. India is aiming to install 100GW of solar power by 2022.
According to Solar Trade Association, only a handful of the largest British solar companies are in a position to take advantage of the international opportunities opening up in solar. Giles Frampton, Business Development Director at British Solar Renewables commented: “It is a great shame that the UK Government has turned its back on renewable energy in general and solar PV in particular whilst most other governments around the world recognise the huge contribution that solar PV can make as a rapidly deployable and cost effective solution to the world’s growing energy needs.”
Leonie Greene, Head of External Affairs at the Solar Trade Association said: “We are delighted for members who are large enough to be able to seize business opportunities overseas. This visit by the Indian Prime Minister, probably the world’s greatest solar advocate, should make British politicians stop and think about what is at stake economically and technologically. While Modi is lining up an anticipated $100bn of global solar business, the UK is pushing most of its solar industry backwards, leaving us at an international disadvantage. It is not too late for our Government to get fully behind the British solar industry and ensure we take full advantage of global solar markets estimates to be worth trillions of pounds over the coming decades. “