Modi reveals plan to build $4bn solar panel factory in Gujarat

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced that a $4bn solar panel factory is to be built in the north-west state of Gujarat. The project, which is expected to break ground this year, will be a joint venture between American manufacturer SunEdison and the Indian power company Adani Enterprises. 

The photovoltaic plant will have an annual production capacity of 7.5GW and is expected to create 4,500 direct and 15,000 indirect jobs. 

Vneet Jaain, the chief executive of Adani Power, said: "India has embarked on an ambitious programme to become a world leader in power generation from renewable technologies and sees solar as a key part in realising that goal." 

Modi’s government last year set a target of installing 100GW of solar capacity by 2022. It has said that more than $100bn could be spent on combating climate change.  

India, which has a population of more than 1 billion people, is the third greatest emitter of carbon, behind China and America. Modi is to meet American President Barack Obama in India next week, and they are expected to discuss ways of curbing climate change and pollution. 

Pashupathy Shankar Gopalan, SunEdison’s managing director for South Asia, told Bloomberg: "The prime minister has been revising upwards India’s aspirations for solar. The plant nicely plays into the aspirations for the country to grow solar significantly, as well as wanting to create stronger domestic manufacturing." 

India has recently shown signs of opening up to more foreign investment.

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