SoftBank to invest up to $100 billion in Indian solar industry

By 2022, India aims to increase its solar energy capacity by 5 times to 20GW.

On Friday, Japanese public broadcaster NHK reported, without citing sources, SoftBank Group Corp has decided to invest $60 billion to $100 billion in the solar industry in India.

A formal agreement is expected to be signed soon between the Indian government and SoftBank once the final arrangements are in place.

SoftBank is expected to route the investments through a fund that has the backing of Saudi Arabia’s government.

Incidentally, the Middle Eastern Kingdom is the biggest investor in SoftBank’s Vision Fund, which raised more than $93 billion in 2017.

SoftBank’s spokesman declined to comment.

In 2015, SoftBank had pledged to invest $20 billion in the Indian solar market and had targeted a goal of generating 20GW of energy as the majority partner in a joint venture with India’s Bharti Enterprises and Taiwan’s Foxconn.

In April 2018 SoftBank entered into a collaboration with China’s GCL System Integration Technology Co Ltd for a $930 million venture in the Indian solar industry.

In May, SoftBank secured 200MW of solar capacity at an auction in Karnataka, a southwestern state in India.

Under Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India wants to increase its solar production levels by 5 times their current capacity; it has set a target of 100 GW for 2022.

SoftBank’s Vision Fund has experience and exposure in the solar industry through its investment in projects, including the world’s largest solar plant in Saudi Arabia, which was announced in March 2018.

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