Italy’s ENEL Has Norway’s Norfund Backing It For India Foray

Italy’s ENEL Has Norway’s Norfund Backing It For India Foray

Rome – based Enel SpA,  which recently won its first big solar energy tender in India, announced on Wednesday that its subsidiary firm Enel Green Power has signed an agreement with the Norwegian Investment Fund (Norfund)  to back its renewable projects in India. Both firms will share in the costs of establishing the projects in India.

According to Antonio Cammisecra, chief executive of Enel Green Power, the backing would support Enel Green Power’s plans to expand its footprint in India and help the parent firm diversify and decarbonise at the same time.

For Norfund, the partnership represents an opportunity to play a role in providing much needed clean energy in an important market together with a world-class industrial partner,” said Tellef Thorleifsson, CEO of Norfund. “India has ambitious targets to increase the penetration of renewables, and there is a great need for more capital combined with technical expertise to realize them. By partnering with an experienced company like Enel Green Power, we believe we can contribute to both create jobs and promote the transition to renewables.”

The deal underscores the advantage most of the foreign developers have when they move into a new market in a big way, especially with access to funding. Norfund in this case is open to equity participation too in projects with Enel, as we understand it.

For the $89 billion Enel, which has a presence in 30 countries, besides its national energy firm status in Italy, the push towards green power began earlier than most, with Enel Green Power set up in 2008 itself. Today, the firm is a global leader with a managed capacity of over 46 GW across a generation mix that includes wind, solar, geothermal and hydropower

It’s recent win in Rajasthan through its Indian subsidiary EGP India – Avikiram Surya India underscores just how competitive all that global experience has made the firm. EGP India owns and operates 172 MW of wind capacity producing around 320 GWh per year in Gujarat and Maharashtra.

For Norfund itself, the least developed countries (LDC’s) as it calls them, are a key priority, with 40 percent of its funding in those markets. By year-end 2019, Norfund had committed investments totaling 24,923 million NOK in 163 projects. Almost half of the portfolio is invested in clean energy projects.

With 6 out of the seven winners in the recent 2 GW auction being foreign firms, the Indian market will be a familiar competitive landscape for the firm soon.

Two days back, BP had also announced a $70 million commitment to the Green Growth Equity Fund for India.

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Prasanna Singh

Prasanna has been a media professional for over 20 years. He is the Group Editor of Saur Energy International