India is expecting investments worth nearly $100 billion in the renewable energy sector in the next four to five years, Piyush Goyal, minister for power, coal and renewable energy in the Narendra Modi-led government, said Thursday, according to media reports.
“The government means business and we want to attract investments to India,” he reportedly said, adding that the government was also planning to boost the use of renewable energy to reduce pollution at state-owned companies such as Coal India Ltd (NSE:COALINDIA) and NTPC Limited (NSE:NTPC).
Goyal stated that his ministry was planning to organize a conference on the use of renewable energy with leaders from the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, or SAARC, a bloc of eight countries in the region.
“On the lines of Prime Minister Narendra Modi reaching out to India’s neighbors during his swearing-in, we look at relationship with an open mind based on the strength of India’s security interests and better economic relations,” he reportedly said.
He also added that the government was expecting nearly $60 billion in investments in the power transmission and distribution business in the next four to five years.
Nearly 300 million people in India — one-fourth of the country’s population — lack access to electricity, according to official estimates. A huge chunk of the population also suffers from widespread power shortage.
India’s National Action Plan on Climate Change, drafted by a special cabinet council, has set a target of generating 15 percent of its domestic power from renewable energy sources by 2020, and Modi has reportedly called for harnessing hydropower, solar energy, biomass and wind power, to bring about an “energy revolution” in the country.
The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy had earlier announced a number of measures to enhance the production and use of renewable energy sources, including incentives and tax rebates tied to power generation.