Oil supermajor Shell has taken a stake in an Indian renewables business, as it hunts for a head of power to help lead its ambitions in the electricity market there.
Shell acquired almost 20% of Orb Energy, which offers rooftop PV installations to Indian small and medium-sized businesses.
Bangalore-based Orb has supplied 160,000 systems totaling 75MW since it was founded in 2006. Terms of the investment were not disclosed.
Brian Davis, vice president at Shell Energy Solutions, said: “This is a vital and growing sector, with great potential to contribute to the country’s renewable energy ambitions.”
Shell – which is ramping its ambitions in the power sector globally – has been linked with other renewables growth opportunities in India. The oil group is among a raft of global giants to have expressed interest in entering the country’s first offshore wind tender and is reportedly one of the frontrunners to buy Indian developer Continuum Wind from Morgan Stanley.
Shell Energy India outlined its agenda in a job advertisement for a new head of power based in Mumbai.
The company said the role will “be responsible for delivering SEI’s strategic agenda in the growing power sector starting with strategic market assessment and developing a market entry strategy to identifying, evaluating and progressing potential opportunities”.
The job ad says the new executive – who will eventually lead a team in the country – will identify new business opportunities “that could be standalone gas, or integrated gas and renewable prospects.”