French supermajor Total has continued its drive into renewables with a $2.5 billion deal for a 20% stake in India’s Adani Green Energy, one of the world’s most ambitious solar developers.

Total will also get a half share in a 2.35-gigawatt operating portfolio and a seat on the Adani Green board as part of the agreement, the latest by the French supermajor as it attempts to turn itself into a top-five global renewable energy player by the end of the decade.

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Total and Adani Green first forged a relationship in early 2020 when they agreed to form a joint venture to develop solar projects in India, while the European firm also has a long-term relationship with parent conglomerate Adani Group in the gas sector.

Adani Green’s main focus is on solar, but it is also developing wind and hybrid projects as it targets a 25GW operating renewables base by 2025 in India.

The deal is the second big solar development deal within a few days by Total, which last week announced a gigawatt-scale partnership with a unit of South Korea’s Hanwha Group to develop photovoltaics plants in the US.

Total has over the last 18 months also added assets in offshore and onshore wind, and energy storage as it pursues its own goal to have 35GW of operating renewables on its books by 2025, a target that puts it in the front rank of fossil giants in terms of energy transition ambitions.

Total chief executive Patrick Pouyanne said: “Our entry into Adani Green Energy is a major milestone in our strategy in the renewable energy business in India put in place by both parties.

"Given the size of the market, India is the right place to put into action our energy transition strategy based on two pillars: renewables and natural gas.”

Total last week said it is ditching its membership of the American Petroleum Institute (API) as the key oil and gas representative body’s position on climate issues is at odds with those of the transitioning French energy giant, which is targeting net-zero emissions by 2050.

(This article first appeared in Upstream's sister renewable energy publication Recharge on 18 January, 2021.)