The green energy initiatives started by India has started influence the global market in a positive way. India’s green energy policy has gained attention in other parts of the world. NTPC Limited (National Thermal Power Corporation Limited), a state-owned company is going to assist solar projects in Cuba, Niger, and Malawi and this is the proof the Indian Green Policy is on the right track. The International Solar Alliance is in charge of these solar projects (ISA). This information regarding the projects was provided by two reliable sources.

Recently, NTPC has been awarded Project Management Consultancy (PMC) contract for setting up solar projects in Cuba. Besides this, NTPC has also secured contracts for setting up solar projects in Malawi and Niger. These solar projects in Cuba, Malawi, and Niger have capacities of 900 MW, 100 MW, and 500 MW, respectively. After solar projects developed in Mali (500MW) & Togo (285MW), Cuba, Malawi, and Niger are the only countries where India’s largest power generation utility has been awarded the PMC contract through ISA, headquartered in India. It is the first treaty-based intergovernmental organization.

Following the completion of these solar projects, NTPC anticipates comparable prospects in other African ISA member nations such as Sudan, Congo, Mozambique, Egypt, Uganda, Rwanda, Gambia, Tanzania, Senegal, and Zimbabwe. In ISA member nations, NTPC intends to have at least 10 GW of installed capacity.

NTPC also aims to bid for solar power projects in African countries. This assumes significance given the aggressive bids quoted by the firm in the recent solar auctions in India. Of the 650 million people expected to be without energy access in 2030, a majority are likely to be from Africa. Which makes Africa an ideal place for the solar energy solutions.

In their emailed response, an NTPC spokesperson stated,” NTPC has been endorsed by the ISA as a project management consultant (PMC)/solar project developer to ISA member countries in November 2019 through a transparent and competitive process of Swiss Challenge. Under this endorsement, NTPC and ISA have been jointly approaching member countries for collaboration in the implementation of solar parks and projects in these countries.”

India’s largest power producing the utility received the Cuba and Niger projects in June, while the Malawi task arrived in March. This comes at a time when India is attempting to acquire a global leadership role in the fight against climate change.

The NTPC spokesperson further added, “Regular meetings are being held with Cuba for finalizing the pre-feasibility report for the project. A visit to Cuba by NTPC and ISA teams is planned for mid of September 2021 to gather further information and to discuss the modalities for implementation of the subject project. Niger side has invited NTPC to indicate a blanket capacity and has requested NTPC to identify the location. Currently, NTPC is exploring various options where such power projects can be developed. In Cuba, a total of 900MW at 175 locations have been identified.”

Since 2004-05, China has made significant efforts into Africa. New Delhi opposes the Belt and Road Initiative, which aims to invest $8 trillion in infrastructure projects spanning Asia, Europe, and Africa, claiming that it entices countries into debt traps, disregards sovereignty, and fails to address environmental issues.

“Regarding other African countries, including Congo, we have been in regular touch with concerned authorities for the way forward. Additionally, NTPC has been participating in various tenders for capacity building and consultancy assignments in Africa, which are at different stages of evaluation,” the NTPC spokesperson said.

An ISA spokesperson in the emailed response said, “NTPC had submitted a statement of intent to the president of ISA Assembly, Union power and new and renewable energy minister Raj Kumar Singh, on 27 April last year, to work with the ISA to assist its member countries to set up solar plants and solar parks.”

By 2032, NTPC hopes to have 60 GW of renewable energy capacity, up from roughly 4 gigawatts currently. As part of its energy compact goals, NTPC has set a 10-percent reduction in net energy intensity as a goal. The public sector entity currently has a total installed capacity of roughly 67GW spread over 71 power projects, with another 17GW under construction.

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