India will leverage its solar power credentials to regain lost ground in Africa, with state-run NTPC Ltd planning to help International Solar Alliance' (ISA) member countries namlely, Gambia and Malawi - develop solar power parks to meet electricity demand.
After landing the project management consultancy contracts for developing solar parks in Mali and Togo, India’s largest power generation utility is also eyeing comparable opportunities in other ISA member countries from Africa - Sudan, Mozambique, Egypt, Uganda, Rwanda and Niger.
“NTPC has identified 10 member countries as leaders who may be willing to put up solar parks in the near future and would like to avail the services of NTPC in supporting them as a turnkey consultant. ISA has empanelled NTPC and will soon be doing another exercise to empanelment more PSUs (public sector units) from the member countries who have rich experience in solar space," an ISA spokesperson stated.
India’s playbook in Africa implicates helping state runs firms such as NTPC secure these contracts under the aegis of ISA, the first treaty-based international government organisation headquartered in India that is progressively being viewed as a foreign policy tool. India's strategic planners believe that the coronavirus pandemic has provided the opportunity to be seen as a developing country with a demonstrated ability to take lead in evolving regional and global strategies.
NTPC is also helping set up solar parks totalling 718 megawatt (MW) in Mali and Togo. The preparatory work is on and the foundation stones are expected be laid in September. With an installed capacity of 62 giga watt (GW), NTPC is targeting similar contracts to help set up 10 GW capacity in ISA member countries.
NTPC accounts for nearly a fifth of India’s installed power generation capacity of 370 GW.