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The Adani crisis may hamper India’s Net Zero goal, know-how!

To meet net-zero emission goals India is relying on powerful billionaires such as the Adani, Ambani, JSW, and Tata groups.

By nayanikaphukan
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The Adani crisis may hamper India’s Net Zero goal, know-how!

According to the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, India aims to reduce the emissions intensity of GDP by 45% by 2030 and reach net zero by 2070 while developing sustainably. Some of the initiatives to achieve this goal are the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy, utilization of green hydrogen, and transition to low-carbon development pathways.

Fossil fuel use in India and dependence on the private sector

However, according to the Ministry of Power and Central Electricity Authority, India still relies heavily on fossil fuels for electricity generation. That is to say, 49.7% of the electricity is produced from coal and overall 57.4% from fossil fuels.

Also, a large chunk of the power production in India is through the private sector accounting for 50.4% of the installed generation capacity. To meet net-zero emission goals India is relying on powerful billionaires such as the Adani group, Ambani group, JSW group, and Tata group. The country’s energy transition is being led by Gautam Adani and Mukesh Ambani, two of the wealthiest billionaires in India. They are keen to invest close to $150 billion in green projects over the coming decades.

Read more: India's green energy dream is being funded by the coal and oil profits of its two richest men

Billionaires’ green goals

In 2022, the Adani Group announced the establishment of three "giga" factories to produce solar modules, wind turbines, and hydrogen electrolyzers as part of its $70 billion green energy push. They have a goal of becoming the largest new energy player by 2030.

Read more: Adani’s crisis points to the big risk in India’s net zero plan - The Economic Times

The chairman of Reliance Industries (RIL), Mukesh Ambani, announced last year that he intended to build a new energy ecosystem, including factories to produce solar photovoltaic modules, electrolyzers, and fuel cells, with a massive investment of 75,000 crore rupees ($10 billion).

Allegations connected to the Adani group 

However, allegations made by Hindenburg research regarding businesses connected to the Adani Group have cast doubt on the company's future including its significant investment in green energy. Additionally, it has caused issues for the company’s renewable energy division, Adani Green. And because India’s clean energy sectors are dominated by the private sector, the rate of the investment may slow down.

Conclusion

According to the International Energy Agency, to reach net zero by 2070 India needs to invest $160 billion annually through 2030 to reach its goal, which is roughly triple current levels. Despite expanding, foreign direct investment still only makes up a small portion of current commitments. Adani's swift demise could erode investor confidence in India more generally, endangering India’s capital inflows for green financing.

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