Gautam Adani’s $70 Billion Pledge Now Includes Greenest Data Centers

Gautam Adani started out as a diamond merchant in the 1980s in Mumbai.

Billionaire Gautam Adani wants his group to become a world leader in green data storage, with data centers running entirely on clean power, a plan to rebuild an empire built largely on coal mining and business in a renewable energy giant. play an important role in their ambition.

“It is inevitable that large-scale data center infrastructure will become the largest energy-consuming industry ever,” Adani, chairman of the Adani Group and Asia’s second-richest person, told the Bloomberg India Economic Forum on Thursday. As India rapidly expands its clean energy capacity at one of the lowest costs, it will “make us the green option to warehouse not only India’s but probably most of the world’s data.”

The group has committed to invest a total of $70 billion by 2030 across its green energy value chain to become the world’s largest renewable energy producer. This is one of the two biggest tailwinds behind Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who made a surprise pledge at COP26 for India to touch net-zero carbon emissions by 2070. Reliance Industries Ltd., run by Asia’s richest man Mukesh Ambani, plans to spend $10 billion on renewables over the next three years.

According to BloombergNEF Head of India Research Shantanu Jaiswal, Adani will face many challenges in powering data centers as they require 24X7 power supply. “Adani should invest in renewable energy storage or look for other sources to ensure uninterrupted power supply when the sun is not shining or the wind wind is weak,” Jaiswal said.

Despite the odds, the 59-year-old billionaire sees growing demand for data centers as ultra-speed 5G services, quantum computing and cloud storage applications expand. Digital transactions also got a massive boost during the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced people to work, study and shop from home. Amid booming smartphone usage and cheap mobile data tariffs, Amazon.com Inc. and Alphabet Inc. India is becoming a hot market for providing data storage services to global firms like Google.

‘Difficult to replicate’

“Given our ability to build data centers, connect data centers and deliver 100% green power to data centers, the Adani Group is well positioned to benefit from this trend – a provision that has been recognized on an economic scale elsewhere in the world. But it will be difficult to replicate,” said the tycoon.

Adani Group is rapidly expanding its solar energy portfolio and its ports business aims to be carbon neutral by 2025. Adani firms have raised about $1.1 billion in green and sustainability-linked dollar bonds and $1.35 billion in offshore loans in 2021 – making them the largest issuer of ESG debt from India, according to data compiled by Bloomberg show.

“We are making every effort to make renewable energy a viable, economical alternative to fossil fuels,” said Adani, a first-generation entrepreneur who started out as a diamond merchant in Mumbai in the 1980s. The home state of Gujarat before Adani Enterprises Limited – the flagship company of the group – was established as an agri-commodity trader in 1988.

Over the past two decades, the group has rapidly diversified into ports, power generation and distribution, airports, data centers and digital services. According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, the tycoon has added $51 billion to his net worth this year — one of the biggest wealth achievers in 2021 — raising it to nearly $85 billion.

Adani’s sustainability claims, however, are criticized by climate campaigners, who point to the group’s Carmichael coal mining project in Australia, which would expand the supply of the highly polluting fossil fuel. Adani Group opted to self-fund after having trouble getting external funding and is targeting the first shipments by the end of this year.

‘Miracle Fuel’

Adani also described his group as being in a good position to produce the world’s cheapest green hydrogen, calling it “a miracle fuel and a miraculous feedstock”, disrupting many industries such as the chemical and metals sectors. could. Ambani’s Reliance is also targeting green hydrogen at $1 per kilogram by the end of this decade – a price that could threaten fossil fuels.

“Indian billionaires understand the importance of green hydrogen for deep decarbonisation of the economy,” said Rohit Gadre, an analyst at BloombergNEF. The world’s top renewable energy producer.

Adani Group is adding strength to its renewable portfolio. In May 2021, it paid $3.5 billion to buy SoftBank Group Corp’s local clean energy unit as it moves closer to its goal of having 25 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2025 from the current installed capacity of 5.4 GW.

Adani said, “This group has started early and our portfolio increasingly includes Green Ports, Green Airports, Green Energy and Green Broadcasting.” “No other company has yet made such a big bet on developing its sustainability infrastructure.”

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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