SDG Pioneer for Energy Transition & Gender Equality

Sumant Sinha

Chairman and Managing Director

ReNew PowerPvt.Ltd. 


Sumant Sinha quit a successful corporate career to take a chance on sustainable energy in India more than a decade ago.

“I started looking at the whole area of climate change and sustainability with a

degree of seriousness that I had not done before, and I was actually quite

horrified to find that the world was actually on a very negative path in terms of our efforts on combating climate change,” he says. 

“It came home to me at that point in time that we needed to do a lot

more and a lot faster and a lot more globally to solve the problem of climate

change, and that's why I got into the sector about 13 years ago.”

Sinha founded ReNew Power in hopes of transforming India’s energy landscape and contributing to the battle against climate change.

Today it is India’s second largest renewable energy producer, with 114 solar and wind plants in nine states and more than 450 rooftop solar sites. 

It generates 1% of India’s total annual electricity, and it is the only Indian clean energy company with more than 5 Gigawatts of operational capacity, he said.

“My entry into renewable space was at a time when the sector was just evolving,” he says. “There was no established business model that I could follow. 

“So, I decided to chart my own path with ReNew and began a pioneering journey – producing zero carbon green power to meet the nation’s energy needs.”

That journey has led him to this year being selected by the UN Global Compact as its 2021 Pioneer for Energy Transition and Gender Equality.

Throughout its growth, ReNew has acknowledged the link between clean energy and bridging the education and economic gender gap and ending gender-based discrimination, he said.

ReNew was an early signatory to the United Nations Women's Empowerment Principles, and it has strived to create a bias-free workplace where women have equal opportunities for growth.

ReNew is the title sponsor of the annual Gender Equality Summit organized by the Global Compact Network India (GCNI), and year round, it partners with the GCNI to organize and host webinars and roundtables promoting and sharing ways in which access to clean energy can transform the quality of life for women in marginalized communities, he said.

Working in more than 170 villages, it has electrified schools and provided digital literacy programs and computer centers for children, entrepreneurial training and support for rural women, scholarships for talented youth and safe drinking water.

Sinha is a frequent speaker at such top forums as Climate Week NYC and the World Economic Forum in Davos. He has written more than 100 opinion pieces published nationally and internationally to argue the case for renewable energy and clean technology, and he wrote a book “Fossil Free” tracing the history of energy transitions.

“The opportunity to have societal and national and global impact is tremendous in our sector,” he says. “And therefore the next 10 to 20 years are going to be extremely exciting and intense.

“We have enormous opportunity to impact the whole area of climate change by eliminating carbon from the entire energy sector,” he says. “That sounds like a lot, but it is absolutely doable.”

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