Solar champion Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to sign solar deal

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The Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi today will sign £10billion worth of trade deals today including pacts on aircrafts and telecoms.

The deals include £2billion 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 investment illustrates the booming international opportunities available if the UK Government retains a strong domestic solar industry.  Modi is visiting the UK as the British solar industry reels from Government plans to implement drastic cuts to the sector. The Lightsource deal will create an expected 300 jobs and £42million 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 [1]. 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.

Unfortunately only a handful of the largest British solar companies are in a position to take advantage of the massive international opportunities opening up in solar. Most British companies risk being cut off at the knees, for want of just a few years extra support at home, meaning the UK will pay a heavy price in lost economic opportunities, which are expected to further accelerate after the Paris climate conference.

British Solar Renewables is a leading British solar company, which has already expanded its business into India and Pakistan.

Giles Frampton, Business Development Director at British Solar Renewables commented: “The election of Prime Minister Modi has given developers and investors great confidence in India as a country within which one can do good business. Prime Minister Modi’s visionary work on renewables as a state governor and now as PM is to be applauded.

“We are now able to export British goods and knowhow that have been developed in the turbulent UK market. 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.”

Solarcentury is also one of the British companies large enough to take advantage of the booming international market.

Seb Berry, Head of External Affairs at Solarcentury, who is also on the board of the Solar Trade Association, said: “Solarcentury’s successful growth into multiple markets on four continents has been built on the expertise and experience we’ve gained over nearly two decades here in the UK.

“Our multi-award winning London based new product development team is all part of what makes Solarcentury a great British success story. Our staff and indeed all of the UK solar industry’s skilled, innovative workforce deserve so much better than the current UK Government’s dismissive, destructive approach to our sector.”

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. “