The novel coronavirus has exposed some serious shortcomings of conventional energy systems. Due to the pandemic-led recession, the market prices of traditional fuels have grown even more volatile, necessitating a transformation in the energy sector worldwide.
Although investments in various markets, renewable energy (RE) included, have seen a dip, experts predict a strong performance for renewables in the post-pandemic world. The Indian RE sector has also witnessed significant changes, with big names like Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) entering the green market for the first time. Established players like ReNew Power, Adani, Siemens and Tata Power are also gearing up to meet the challenges of a post-pandemic economy.
Despite a lull in the market, players like Adani and ReNew Power have been making steady progress throughout the COVID crisis. Adani completed the acquisition of Softbank Energy for a record $3.5 billion which helped it overhaul the target of 25GW renewable capacity. The target was achieved by the Group four years ahead of its schedule. In addition, the Group also doubled its solar cell and module manufacturing capacity to 4GW in the last fiscal.
Another player who stood out is ReNew Power. The Goldman Sachs-backed RE producer issued green bonds worth $585 million in April this year. Proceeds from the bonds would be used to clear debt and finance future projects in India. Other than ReNew Power and Adani, Siemens is another important stakeholder that holds a major share in the Indian renewables market.
Despite enjoying a lion’s share of the market in India, Siemens Gamesa has had a rough quarter as it was hit by heavy losses. Volatility in other markets had a hand in the frustrating performance by the turbine manufacturer. Although revenues increased by 12 per cent YoY, it reported a net loss of €314 million in the third quarter. Nevertheless, CEO Andreas Nauen was positive that the company would scale the difference and get back in the green, courtesy of its order backlog – which has seen a 3 per cent YoY growth and is currently valued at €32.6 billion.
The pandemic has highlighted the vulnerabilities of conventional energy sources and the market volatility that comes with it. Alternative energy sources have instead captured the imagination of investors and companies, who see new avenues for growth in them. The actions of players like Adani, Siemens and ReNew Power are consistent with such a realization and will be instrumental in India’s transformation towards becoming a global leader in renewable energy.