The Saudi Arabian Alfanar Group is looking to sell half of its 600 megawatts (MW) wind power projects based in India in what is likely to rank among the biggest wind energy deals in India. With India lifting many of the restrictions on businesses following a strict two-month lockdown, deal activity is gaining pace in the country’s green economy. Power demand is also slowly returning to the levels they were at before the lockdown after having nosedived as factories, malls and offices were shut for the past two months. Alfanar Group, based in Riyadh has a clean energy portfolio of 1.4 gigawatts (GW) in West Asia, Africa, Europe and Asia. Particularly in India, Alfanar Group has a wind project portfolio of around 600MW that it won in auctions conducted by state-run Solar Energy Corp. of India (SECI). It quoted US$0.032 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) and US$0.037 per kWh in February 2018 and October 2018, respectively, to win the bids for developing 300MW each of wind projects.
India currently runs the world’s largest clean energy programme, with the target of having 175 gigawatts (GW) of clean energy capacity by 2022. The country now has 38GW of wind power and plans to add 6 GW of wind capacity by March 2022. The country’s wind energy sector has been facing hurdles as banks are wary of lending to developers as they suspect the viability of projects that have agreed to sell power at rock-bottom tariffs. There are also issues regarding a delay in payments by state-run power distribution companies (discoms), non-allocation of land to wind power projects, besides transmission and connectivity-related challenges. The government has announced a reform-linked US$1187 core bailout package for fund-starved discoms, along with concessional tariffs that are aimed at helping clear dues of project developers.
The global investors involved in India’s clean energy space include Masdar, also known as Abu Dhabi Future Energy Co., Goldman Sachs, Brookfield, SoftBank, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Japan’s JERA Co., Singapore’s GIC Holdings Pte Ltd, Global Infrastructure Partners, CDC Group Plc and International Finance Corp.