A solar power infrastructure deal is among £9bn-worth of trade deals signed by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his UK counterpart David Cameron.
In a £2bn pact, London-headquartered Lightsource Renewable Energy will design, install and manage around 3 GW of solar infrastructure in India over the next five years.
Lightsource chief executive Nick Boyle 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.”
UK trade group the Solar Trade Association said that the investment “illustrates the booming international opportunities available if the UK government retains a strong domestic solar industry”.
It added: “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 42 million pounds of revenue in the UK, as well as benefiting hundreds of families in India.”
Modi’s visit to the UK precedes the UN Paris climate conference, where he will launch his International Agency for Solar Policy and Application initiative. Modi has invited 110 nations to join the initiative which is expected to attract $100bn of solar business by 2020 on the back of the country’s target to install 100 GW of solar power by 2022.
British Solar Renewables is a leading British solar company, which has already expanded its business into India and Pakistan.
Its business development director Giles Frampton said: “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.”
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