On Thursday, bids for India’s newest solar auction started to soar, with the country’s auctions generating the highest bids in over a year.
The auctions are part of the countrys efforts to address its climate challenge and to ramp up its renewable energy sector, and are aimed at boosting India’s economic growth.
As of June 30, the government’s auctions for solar panels, photovoltaic modules, and other renewable energy assets totalled $2.4 billion.
India’s auctions, which started in January, attracted bids from more than 30 countries, with more than 60% of the bids coming from the United States.
The U.S. was the country that was the biggest buyer, bidding $1.9 billion, followed by China with $1 billion, India with $2 billion, the United Kingdom with $900 million, and Japan with $200 million.
China and Japan also contributed significant sums to the bidding process, with $834 million and $1,788 million respectively.
The bidding process in India was relatively straightforward, with bids submitted in late August, but a number of auctions were postponed due to weather and legal issues.
On Thursday, the U.K. announced it would submit a bid for solar power assets worth $1 million each, followed shortly after by Germany, Spain, and France.
The bids for solar farms worth $400,000 and more were also submitted in early August, according to Reuters.
India’s solar auctions have been met with criticism from some quarters, with some critics questioning the legality of the auctions, and claiming that the government is using the auctions to push for the country to become a net-zero nation.
India is on track to achieve the country s first carbon-neutral economy by 2030, but has a large carbon footprint that will continue to increase as the country tries to meet its ambitious target of zero emissions by 2050.
India’s auctions have also been criticized by some of its citizens, who have questioned the legality, as well as the fairness of the bidding processes, which are dominated by the United Nations (UN) and the World Bank.
A group of about 150 people have petitioned the UN’s General Assembly to block the auctions from being held, according for the Times of India.