It took less than two weeks for TotalEnergies SE to put a massive hydrogen energy project with Adani Group on hold after the Indian conglomerate was rocked by allegations of fraud.
The deal — part of a plan in which billionaire Gautam Adani’s energy business would have invested US$50 billion over the next decade in the fuel — remains in limbo, a victim of Hindenburg Research’s short-seller report.
The fallout is unlikely to be limited to the Adani empire. The controversy over the business practices of the group — which became one of the country’s biggest investors in renewable energy sources after expanding from transport infrastructure — means there will likely be greater scrutiny of Indian corporate governance across the board.
Energy transition investments in India already lag behind other major nations and now the cost of capital is increasing as global interest rates rise, while the US Inflation Reduction Act is creating more opportunities for clean-power investors in the US and its free-trade partners.
That spells trouble for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s goal to put India at the forefront of climate action.
“The markets are enforcing discipline on companies, including Adani, to reduce debt and bring in equity,” said Shashank Krishna, a London-based partner at law firm Baker Botts LLP, who advises clients on energy and infrastructure deals. “Some projects that are borderline economically viable or may not have a strong business case will have to be shelved or reduced in size.”
The headwinds are making the Indian government’s goal of tripling clean-electricity capacity by the end of the decade less achievable.
New Delhi wants to increase the current 169 gigawatts to 500 gigawatts by 2030, taking its percentage of the total from 41 percent to almost two-thirds.
If it falls short of the target, the world’s third-largest emitter would rely on coal for longer. That is bad news for the Indian economy, which hopes to lure investment from multinationals under pressure to decarbonize their supply chains.
While India installed 15 gigawatts of grid-connected wind and solar capacity last year, 44 percent more than in 2021, it is still well short of what is needed to reach the 2030 target.
Moreover, making a major increase in the level of investment was already proving tough before the Adani crisis.
Investment in the deployment of renewable energy technology rose about 4 percent to US$11.5 billion in India last year, but that was still lower than a recent peak of US$12.7 billion in 2017, data compiled by BloombergNEF showed.
Fiscal incentives such as US legislation are drawing a lot of capital that could have potentially found its way to India, said Anita George, a cofounder of Edhina Capital, an Indian private-equity firm looking to invest in clean energy, mobility, green buildings and recycling opportunities. “That has been a dampener for all the emerging markets, not just India.”
Women on Thursday officially joined a so-called “naked festival” at a shrine in central Japan for the first time in the event’s 1,250-year history, donning purple robes and chanting excitedly as they bore a large bamboo trunk as an offering. Seven groups of women took part in the ritual which is said to drive away evil spirits and where participants pray for happiness. Despite its name, those taking part are not naked. Many women wore “Happi Coats” (robes that reach to the hips) and shorts that are typically worn at Japanese festivals, although men just wore loincloths similar to those worn by
SOUTH CHINA SEA SPAT: The image bolsters a Philippine Coast Guard assertion that Chinese inflatable boats deployed floating barriers at the shoal’s entrance last week Satellite images of the hotly disputed Scarborough Shoal (Huangyan Island, 黃岩島) in the South China Sea show a new floating barrier across its entrance, near where Philippine ships and Chinese coast guard vessels have had frequent run-ins. One of the images taken by Maxar Technologies on Thursday last week and viewed by Reuters showed the barrier blocking the mouth of the shoal, where the Chinese coast guard last week claimed to have driven off a Philippine vessel “illegally intruding” into Beijing’s waters. Manila, which last week deployed a Philippine Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) vessel to patrol the shoal and
Chinese police are working in the remote atoll nation of Kiribati in the Pacific Ocean, with uniformed officers involved in community policing and a crime database program, Kiribati officials told Reuters. Kiribati has not publicly announced the policing deal with China, which comes as Beijing renews a push to expand security ties in the Pacific Islands in an intensifying rivalry with the US. Kiribati, a nation of 115,000, is considered strategic despite being small, as it is relatively close to Hawaii and controls one of the biggest exclusive economic zones in the world, covering more than 3.5 million square kilometers of the
Police on Friday opened an investigation after a suspicious odor at the Swedish Security Service (SAPO) office left eight people needing hospital treatment with respiratory symptoms. Images from the scene showed police wearing gas masks alongside several ambulances and emergency vehicles as an area around the office of the agency was closed off. “Around 1:00pm today, there were indications that there was a dangerous substance at SAPO’s offices,” said Patrik Soderberg, chief physician at the local healthcare authority Region Stockholm. “A total of eight people with symptoms have been treated at hospital,” Region Stockholm said in a statement, adding that the “cause of