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The largest clean energy plant in the world, five times larger than Paris, is being constructed by a coal-rich tycoon.

Paris multiplied five times over. observable from a distance. the largest energy plant in the world. Sufficient electricity to run Switzerland.

The largest clean energy plant in the world, five times larger than Paris, is being constructed by a coal-rich tycoon.
The largest clean energy plant in the world, five times larger than Paris, is being constructed by a coal-rich tycoon.

The guy in command is unable to keep up with the massive scope of the project, which is turning vast areas of desolate salt desert on the fringe of western India into one of the world’s most significant sources of clean energy.

In an interview with CNN last week, Sagar Adani stated, “I don’t even do the math anymore.”

Adani serves as the company’s executive director (AGEL). Additionally, he is the nephew of Gautam Adani, the second richest man in Asia, whose $100 billion fortune is derived from the Adani Group, which is a major dirty fuel miner and India’s largest coal importer.

The company was established in 1988 and operates in a variety of industries, including media, cement, ports, and thermal power plants.

The huge solar and wind power facility, estimated to cost $20 billion, is being constructed in the western Indian state of Gujarat by AGEL’s clean energy unit.

When it is completed in around five years, it will be the largest renewable park in the world and produce enough clean electricity to power 16 million homes in India.

India is the world’s most populous country and the fastest-growing major economy. Meeting its energy needs while reducing pollution and meeting climate targets depends on the Khavda Renewable Energy Park’s performance. In India, 70% of the electricity produced is still produced by coal.

The park, which will span more than 200 square miles and be the planet’s largest power plant regardless of the energy source, is located just 12 miles from one of the most dangerous frontiers in the world, separating India and Pakistan, according to AGEL.

“A zone this size, so free of obstacles, devoid of flora, wildlife, or human habitation, Adani stated, “There isn’t a better alternative use for that land.”

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The firm’s ambitious green goals have been unaffected by the eventful year that began in January 2023, when Hindenburg Research, an American short-seller, accused the group of decades-long fraud.

Hindenburg’s article was criticized by the Indian mining-to-media conglomerate as being “malicious” and “baseless.” However, that was unable to stop an incredible collapse in the stock market that at one point reduced the worth of its listed companies by almost $100 billion.

Gautam Adani’s personal wealth took a severe hit as well, plummeting by almost $80 billion in the month that the report was made public.

The businessman has since recovered, though, and the organization is currently investing billions of dollars in the clean energy industry.

Over the next ten years, it intends to invest $100 billion in energy transition, with 70% of those funds designated for sustainable energy.

 

The largest clean energy plant in the world, five times larger than Paris, is being constructed by a coal-rich tycoon.
The largest clean energy plant in the world, five times larger than Paris, is being constructed by a coal-rich tycoon.

Essential for 1.4 billion individuals

The Adani Group is making a shift to sustainable energy at a time when India has set some challenging climate targets for itself.

By the end of this decade, 50% of India’s energy needs would be met by renewable energy sources, including solar and wind power, according to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pledge.

Modi promised in 2021 that India would attain net zero emissions by 2070, a goal that industrialized economies would still accomplish several decades later.

By 2030, the government wants non-fossil fuel electricity production to reach 500 gigawatts (GW). AGEL, the largest renewable energy business in the nation, hopes to provide at least 9% of that total. Khavda Park in Gujarat alone produces close to 30 GW.

According to Adani, there is no option to continue using renewable energy.

The 30-year-old declared, “India must begin doing things at a previously unimaginable size and scale.”

This is due to the fact that energy demand will skyrocket in the upcoming years.

India ranks third globally in terms of energy consumption, but its per capita energy use and emissions are less than half of the global average, according to figures from the International Energy Agency (IEA) in Paris.

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That might quickly alter. Since 2000, the demand for energy has risen due to increased incomes; coal, oil, and solid biomass still account for 80% of this demand. According to the IEA, the nation with the fastest-growing economy will have the greatest increase in energy demand globally over the next thirty years.

Adani said, “We are all in for a very, very bleak climatic future if India does what China did, if India does what Europe did, if India does what the US did,” alluding to the past reliance on fossil fuels as those nations advanced.

His ominous forecasts lack dramatic flair. Analysts predict that India’s economy will expand at a comfortable pace in the next few years—at least 6% annually—and that it may rank third in the world by the end of this decade.

Its urban population will surge as it grows and modernizes, which will cause a sharp increase in the creation of residences, workplaces, retail establishments, and other structures. Analysts predict that over the next 30 years, India’s urban population will grow by the equivalent of a London year.

The need for electricity is predicted to soar in the upcoming years due to a variety of factors, including climate change and rising living standards. The latter has been causing lethal heatwaves throughout India, and as a result, the number of people owning air conditioners is expected to rise significantly in the upcoming years.

 

According to the IEA, India’s overall electricity demand from residential air conditioners is expected to surpass Africa’s total energy consumption by the year 2050.

For its expanding requirements, India cannot rely on fossil fuels without dire ramifications for efforts to address the climate catastrophe.

Adani stated, “Imagine an additional 800 GW of coal-fired thermal capacity; this alone will kill all other sustainable energy initiatives happening worldwide in terms of carbon emissions.”

The street on both sides

Although the company has excellent green ambitions, climate critics question its continued large expenditures on fossil fuels.

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“[Gautam] Adani still walks both sides of the street,” stated Climate Energy Finance director Tim Buckley of Sydney.

The controversial Carmichael Coal Project in Australia is run by the Adani Group, which is also among the biggest developers and operators of coal mines in India. Critics of climate change have fiercely opposed the project, claiming it is a “death sentence” for the Great Barrier Reef.

Buckley continued, “India would be far better served if Adani put 100% of its efforts and resources into developing low-cost zero-emission technologies rather than pumping billions into new fossil fuel projects.”

Adani stated that, at this time, that is not an option.

He predicted that over 600 million Indians would “come into middle income and upper income over the next decade and a half.” “They cannot be denied the necessities for basic energy.”

He went on to say that while it’s not currently possible, everyone would be delighted if we could “have 100% of that being provided from sustainable energy sources.”

Additionally, he noted that campaigners in rich countries—which historically have released more greenhouse gases—often fail to see the enormous struggle that India faces in trying to expand both its economy and its clean energy sector at the same time.

“Respecting the fact that each nation has the right to ensure that its citizens are well served from an energy standpoint is also crucial, in my opinion,” Adani stated.

“So, is India producing some coal? Of course it is; India is. However, does India use a lot of renewable energy? Yes, without a doubt,” he continued.

The largest clean energy plant in the world, five times larger than Paris, is being constructed by a coal-rich tycoon.
The largest clean energy plant in the world, five times larger than Paris, is being constructed by a coal-rich tycoon.

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