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Asia Minute: Three Asian Corporate Giants Investing Billions in India’s Solar Future

Kiran Jonnalagadda / Flickr
Kiran Jonnalagadda / Flickr
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Nearly a third of Hawai‘i’s renewable energy generation comes from solar power. That’s according to the Hawai‘i State Energy Office. Another economy moving ahead with solar energy is India—and it’s not only the government making the push. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Three of the biggest corporate names in Asia are making a twenty billion dollar bet on solar energy in India.  

Japan’s Softbank Corporation is heading the venture, under the personal direction of founder, CEO and billionaire Masayoshi Son.  Another corporate player in the deal is Bharti Enterprises—parent company of India’s largest telecom company—Bharti Airtel.  Founder Sunil Bharti Mittal made some of his billions by helping to introduce push button telephones to millions of Indians in the 1980’s…consumers who were still using those old rotary dial phones.

Taiwanese manufacturing giant Fox Conn is the third company involved.  The largest contract manufacturer of electronics in the world, Fox Conn puts together iPads and iPhones for Apple, Xboxes for Microsoft, and PlayStations for Sony, among other activities.  Softbank’s Son says the pace of the venture’s investment depends on the degree of cooperation it gets from governments on the state and federal levels.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants to quintuple his country’s use of solar energy by the year 2020-2022.  Right now, government figures show India gets about 80% of its energy from fossil fuels…mostly from coal.

Bill Dorman has been the news director at Hawaiʻi Public Radio since 2011.
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