by Sneha Shah
| Raja Ravi Varma’s portrait of the Hindu goddess of wealth, Lakshmi, ലക്ഷ്മി ദേവി. via Wikimedia Commons
Why Invest in Indian Green Energy
India is set to become the 3rd largest market for wind energy after USA and China and is set to enter the top 10 club of countries in installing solar energy capacity in 2012. Massive power deficits, millions of people without power, billions of dollars in oil, gas and coal imports imply that India offers massive opportunities for renewable energy generation. In fact Indian solar energy represents one of the biggest energy opportunities in the 21st century. The Indian government target of 20 GW by 2022 will be beaten by a huge margin in our view.
Rocky Present, Sunny Future
However the performance of publicly listed green stocks in India has been quite abysmal in line with what we have seen in the past few years with global cleantech stocks. The solar and wind stocks have been battered by the global oversupply in solar panels and wind turbines respectively. Some of the solar companies like Moser Baer have gone into restructuring of bad loans while other companies are operating at 10-20% utilization.
However one good area of investing in the Indian renewable energy story is through green focused utilities like Greenko, Orient Green Power etc. Most Investment banks and big Private Equity firms have already committed hundreds of millions of dollars investing in renewable energy focused power generation firms. Larger privately owned electricity utilities in India are also investing heavily into green power generation to meet the Renewable Purchase Obligations (RPO) which mandates that 15% of the electricity generation by 2020 should come from clean energy sources. In Summary while the past few years have not been the best for the green sector in India, the future looks very promising indeed. Read why Private Equity firms are investing millions in India’s wind energy industry
Some of the top publicly listed Green Stocks in India
1) Suzlon Energy (NSE:SUZLON)– Suzlon Energy is one the biggest wind energy companies in the world and the poster child of India’s green story. The company boasted of a market valuation upwards of $10 billion at its peak. However overzealous expansion and expensive acquisitions of European wind players like Repower has left it with an unsustainable debt burden. Read more about the Suzlon Death Spiral.
2) Moser Baer (NSE:MOSERBAER)– Moser Baer which used to mainly deal in optical media made a strong expansion into all parts of solar energy manufacturing such as polysilicon, solar thin film and crystalline silicon panels. However the global solar panel glut has sent the company into debt restructuring. The company now mainly operates in the solar system and integration part of the solar value chain. Read more about hard times being faced by Indian solar companies.
3) Tata Power (NSE:TATAPOWER)– Not strictly a green company, Tata Power is the biggest private utility in India. It recently acquired the Tata BP Solar JV after BP exited the solar panel business. The company has huge plans in wind, solar and geothermal energy. It has also invested in a geothermal energy project in Indonesia.
4) Orient Green Power (NSE:GREENPOWER)– Orient Green Power is one of the biggest green focused utility companies in India focused mainly on wind and biomass power generation. The company’s operations have recently turned around and it is now showing a consistent profit. At its recent stock price of Rs 10-11, it represents a good investing opportunity at its current value. Read more about is Orient Green Power turning around?
5) Greenko (LSE:GKO)– Another big green utility in India with around 200 MW of Electricity Capacity predominantly in small hydro and biomass plants, it is listed London’s AIM Exchange and has a top notch management team. Its recent performance has been quite good and it is expanding rapidly acquiring small hydro plants in India.
6) Lanco (NSE:LANCOIN)– The Company through its subsidiary Lanco Solar has aggressively expanded into the crystalline silicon solar panel system right from manufacturing to installation. However the recent travails of infrastructure companies in India has seen Lanco making a loss which has impacted the growth of its solar subsidiary as well.
7) Welspun Energy (NSE:WELCORP) – Welspun Energy is a part of the Welspun conglomerate. It has expanded rapidly into solar and wind energy installation in the last couple of years to become one of the top green developers in India.
There are also a large number of smaller private companies in India operating in the green energy space. There are also a number of bigger industrial companies such as Thermax, Praj Industries, Jain Irrigation which derive revenues from green industry though contribution to overall revenues is quite small. Investing in the green space in India is not easy but offers handsome rewards to those that make the right calls given the massive growth that is going to happen.
Sneha Shah is the editor of Greenworldinvestor.com, a blog about Global Green Industry and Renewable Energy Industry, focusing on Solar Energy, Wind Energy, Energy Storage, Efficiency etc.