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Investment blows into India's wind sector

Investment blows into India's wind sector
File photo. UPI/Stephen Shaver | License Photo

NEW DELHI, Sept. 27 (UPI) -- Goldman Sachs will invest up to $200 million in India's ReNew Wind Power.

ReNew, a renewable energy independent power producer, was founded by Sumant Sinha, who was chief operating officer of Indian wind turbine manufacturer Suzlon Energy until May 2010.

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ReNew currently has a 25-megawatt wind farm in Gujarat and a 60-megawatt wind project in Maharashtra. It aims to develop 200-300 megawatts annually for the next five years, for a total of about 1,000 megawatts by 2015, Sinha says.

"This investment underscores Goldman Sachs's continued commitment to India and support for the country's clean energy needs," Ankur Sahu, co-head of the principal investment area for Goldman Sachs in Asia, said in a release.

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"We look forward to teaming with the management, both financially and operationally, to help the company become a leader in India's renewable energy sector."

The deal, which marks one of the largest investments by a financial investor in India's renewable-energy sector, comes after Indian Minister of New and Renewable Energy Farooq Abdullah last week urged international investment in the country's renewable energy sector.

Speaking to the U.S.-India Economic Opportunities and Synergies Summit in Chicago, Abdullah said recent estimates show that India has a potential for 600 gigawatts of electric power capacity from wind power.

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India ranks among the top five countries in the world in terms of renewable energy capacity, Abdullah said, with an installed base of more than 20 gigawatts equal to about 11 percent of India's total power generation capacity.

The minister said that investment in renewable in India grew by about 25 percent last year, contributing almost $3.8 billion.

But to meet the government's target of 15 percent renewable energy by 2020 under its National Action Plan will require capital investments of about $100 billion, he said.

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In its May Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness report, Ernst and Young ranked India as the third best investment destination for the renewable energy sector after China and the United States.

"This deal reinforces our commitment to develop sustainable energy solutions for India, said Sinha, chairman and chief executive of ReNew.

India now relies on coal for nearly 70 percent of its electricity needs.

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The International Energy Agency says that India's energy consumption is expected to more than double by 2035. Still, nearly 40 percent of Indian households have no access to electricity.

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