After the marathon run by Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries Limited in investment from international tech giants, now it’s Adani’s time to lure international investors in renewable energy and infrastructure business. Total SE, the French energy giant which primarily deals in oil and gas- fossil fuel energy- has invested 2 billion dollars for 20 per cent stake in Adani Green Energy Limited (AGEL), valuing the company at 10 billion dollars.
“We are delighted to deepen our strategic alliance with Total… We look forward to working together towards delivering India’s vision for 450 GW renewable energy by 2030,” said Gautam Adani, chairman, Adani Group.
This is the second time Total SE is cooperating with the Adani Group. Previously, in 2018, the France-based integrated oil and gas company had collaborated with Adani with investment in Adani Gas- the energy terminal gas marketing business of the company.
“Our entry into AGEL is a major milestone in our strategy in the renewable energy business in India put in place by both parties, which began with our first joint venture 2.3 GW of renewable capacity. Given the size of the market, India is the right place to put into action/to deploy our energy transition strategy based on two pillars: renewables and natural gas,” said Patrick Pouyanné, CEO, Total.
In the last few years, the Modi government has consistently appealed to international investors to invest in the energy and infrastructure sector of the country. The investment poured in the last few years, thanks to the government’s efforts to push consumption, as well as, generation. It liberalised the FDI in renewable energy to 100 per cent through the automatic route. The country aimed to achieve 175 Gw renewable energy capacity by 2022 with 100 Gw from solar installations and 60 Gw from wind installations. But the progress made on the renewable energy front was very little, under the ten-year-long rule of the UPA government.
After the Modi government came to power, the sector picked up once again. The RK Singh-led Ministry of Renewable Energy (MRE) has revised the target of 175 GW renewable energy generation by 2022 to 227 GW. And, the recent investment of Total SE in Adani is the proof of the sector soaring high in recent years.
The Modi government wants to make the country Aatmanirbhar in the energy sector by fuelling production and consumption of clean energy. Every year, India foots the bill of more than 100 billion dollars on fossil fuel imports, which accounts for almost one-fourth of India’s total imports. If the bill of the import of fossil fuel could be reduced to zero using the Modi government’s proposal, India would easily become a net exporter, like China.
Moreover, the prices of petroleum and natural gas are highly volatile and depend on the geopolitical conditions in the Middle East. A slight rise in oil prices becomes a big concern for the Modi government because it not only increases the import bill but also contributes to inflation. With Total SE’s recent investment in Adani, if India becomes Aatmanirbhar in the energy sector, it would be a huge relief for the Indian government economically and politically.
The investment by Total SE will generate further interest of the international energy giants to India’s energy sector and the Adani group, given its huge interest in the energy and infrastructure sector, would be leading it as the Reliance group did in technology.