A consortium of 12 British and Indian universities led by Swansea University in Wales has won £7 million of UK government funding to build five self-sufficient solar-powered buildings in remote Indian villages.

A new solar project, called SUNRISE, will develop printed photovoltaic cells and new manufacturing processes which can be used to construct solar energy products in India. These will then be integrated into buildings in at least five villages of India, allowing them to harness solar power to provide their own energy and run off grid.

Indian start-ups get FDI policy boost

A new consolidated foreign direct investment (FDI) policy framework issued by the Indian government this week includes provisions specific to start-ups which is being seen as a major boost for the sector.

According to the 2017 FDI policy document released by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), start-ups in India can raise up to 100 per cent of funds from Foreign Venture Capital Investors (FVCIs). They can issue equity or equity-linked instruments or debt instruments to FVCIs against the receipt of foreign remittance.

The document reads: “Startups can issue convertible notes to persons resident outside India (subject to certain conditions).

“A start-up engaged in a sector where foreign investment requires government approval may issue convertible notes to a non-resident only with approval of the government.”

Foreign residents, except those in Pakistan and Bangladesh, will be permitted to purchase convertible notes issued by an Indian start-up.

India’s minister for science & technology and earth sciences, Dr Harsh Vardhan, was in the UK recently for the fifth Indo-UK Science and Innovation Council (SIC) meeting. The two sides clinched a crucial agreement to work together as R&D partners in Solar Alliance. He gives details of the deliberations to ‘India Investment Journal’ after his talks with UK counterpart, Jo Johnson.

The Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) experts navigate India’s $100bn renewables challenge to present a view on a much-needed boom in this crucial sector.

India’s solar power capacity has grown nearly 400 times in six years, from a mere 17.8MW in March 2010 to nearly 6,998MW in April 2016. However, the real solar boom is yet to come, as India strives to realise its ambitious target of 100GW of installed solar PV capacity by 2022.

Clickpower.in, an initiative of REConnect Energy, describes itself as a vision to help every electricity consumer in India source cheaper and cleaner power while simultaneously helping renewable energy generators discover larger consumer markets through a web-based marketplace. Its founder lays out the stage for his renewable energy agenda.