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Indian state hopes to tackle pollution with renewable energy
03:40 - Source: CNN
Telangana, India CNN Business  — 

Indian startup ReNew Power has raised more than $1 billion in funds this year alone for its wind and solar business.

As much as a vote of confidence in ReNew, one of India’s top unicorns, it’s a sign of the country’s shift towards renewable energy.

Including hydropower, India has a renewable power capacity of 118 GW, the fifth-highest in the world. The government wants that to hit 500 GW by 2030.

ReNew is the biggest independent renewable energy producer in the country, generating about 5 GW, with another 3 GW of new projects built.

It has more than 100 wind and solar plants, generating about 1% of all India’s electricity. It also has a rooftop solar business that operates in about 20 states. I

“We are at the beginning of a fairly significant energy transition,” said ReNew Chairman Sumant Sinha, who founded the company eight years ago.

“Historically, India’s energy has been based on coal, primarily for generating electricity,” he told CNN Business. “But now renewables have become so much cheaper, about 30 or 40% cheaper than coal, that going forward a large part of the demand is going to be met through renewable energy sources.”

India now produces the world’s cheapest solar power, according to an International Renewable Energy Agency survey. Half of the world’s 10 largest solar parks under construction were in India, according to a report published last year.

Sinha credits the government of Narendra Modi with promoting a transition towards renewables.

“When Mr. Modi became prime minister in 2014, we had about 20,000 megawatts of both wind and solar installed,” said Sinha. “At that point, he set a target of getting, by the end of 2022, almost 175,000 megawatts of wind and solar installed … and that is actually quite remarkable.”

Attracting investment

At the end of June, ReNew Power raised $300 million from investors, with Goldman Sachs, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board each contributing $100 million.

Earlier this year, afte