Indian oil marketing giant Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) has unveiled an ambitious plan to invest up to 250 billion Indian rupees ($3.36 billion) on building a diversified renewables portfolio that will include —solar, wind, small hydro and biomass.

Amit Garg, the executive director of the company’s renewable energy business said on Thursday that the company aims for its renewable energy portfolio to reach 1 gigawatt by 2025, with a 10 GW capacity being targeted for 2040, by the latest.

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He said the company’s near-term 1 GW target will be led by investment in solar power, with investments totalling up to 50 billion Indian rupees ($673 million). A significant chunk of its solar investments are planned in the upcoming 2022-23 financial year, which commences 1 April, with the company already eyeing some acquisition opportunities, he noted.

India would be among the countries which will continue to grow in fossil fuels, but we understand that it has to eventually move to clean energy

head of BPCL's renewable energy business, Amit Garg

“In the coming years, with scale and technology, per megawatt prices will come down. There's already been a lot of improvement and now the expectation is that it may not decrease drastically but still there is some scope. Overall we plan to invest around [250 billion] Indian rupees in this business for 10 GW,” Garg told the Indian media.

The Indian oil-marketing giant’s renewable energy portfolio is expected to comprise 800 MW of solar, 100 MW wind, and a small chunk of hydro and biomass in the near term, local reports have suggested.

Green hydrogen ambitions

Green Hydrogen is also expected to be a key part of the company’s portfolio on a long-term basis.

BPCL has tied up with compatriot Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) to scale up the alkaline electrolyser technology for green hydrogen production in the country.

The company noted that it is looking to secure land for building power producing units in the Indian states of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh Rajasthan and Delhi.

Net zero plans

Garg said the company is committed to scaling down its Scope 1&2 emissions and aims to achieve net-zero emissions by 2040.

“We are seeing a shift from fossil fuels to renewable. India would be among the countries which will continue to grow in fossil fuels, but we understand that it has to eventually move to clean energy,” he noted.

Several Indian private sector giants including the Adani, Tata and Reliance groups have announced billions of dollars worth of investments in expanding their domestic green energy portfolios.

India currently has an installed renewable energy capacity of over 100 GW.

Renewable targets

The nation’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently announced the country’s ambition to reach net-zero emissions by 2070 at the global COP26 conference.

Modi stated that India would target a “non-fossil fuel energy capacity” of 500 GW by 2030, up from a previous target of 450GW, while India will also look to fulfil 50% of its energy requirements from renewable energy sources by 2030, up from a previous target of 40%.

He also pledged that between now and 2030, India would reduce its total projected carbon emissions by 1 billion tonnes and the carbon intensity of its economy by 45%.