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Shell Joins India’s Solar Boom, Buys 20% In Renewables Company

Shell has acquired a 20-percent stake in Indian company Orb Energy, provider of corporate loans to businesses that want to invest in solar power installations.

“This is a vital and growing sector, with great potential to contribute to the country’s renewable energy ambitions,” the vice president of Shell Energy Solutions, Brian Davis, said in a statement, as quoted by Bloomberg.

Shell earlier this year made headlines with plans to become not just a player in electricity generation, but also the biggest one by 2030. The Anglo-Dutch supermajor said it was pouring US$2 billion annually into its new energies division that aimed to expand its presence in cleaner power generation. This segment could yield returns of between 8 and 12 percent, the head of the new energies unit, Maarten Wetselaar, told Bloomberg in March.

Shell’s plans involve bringing reliable power supply to as many as 100 million people around the world by 2030. India is an obvious focus of attention with its growing population and energy needs and its far from satisfactory levels of access to electricity. The supermajor has already made several acquisitions in the power sector there building a footprint in a fast-growing energy market.

"Our view is if society needs to tackle the dual challenge of climate change but also accommodating higher demand for energy — as of course the energy poor need to get access to energy as well — we have to reduce the carbon footprint of the energy system as a society to a net zero level," Shell’s chief executive Ben van Beurden said in 2017 as he announced a plan to reduce the company’s emissions footprint by half by 2050.

India’s Department of Science and Technology last month announced it had reached its solar power capacity target of 20 GW four years earlier than planned. Now, the target was revised up to 100 GW by 2022.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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