World Bank commits USD 1 bn for solar projects in India

World Bank commits USD 1 bn for solar projects in India

World Bank commits USD 1 bn for solar projects in India

 Multi-lateral lender World Bank today announced funding support of USD 1 billion for expansion of solar power capacity in India.

It also signed an agreement with the International Solar Alliance (ISA), consisting of 121 countries led by India, to collaborate on increasing solar energy use across the world, with a goal of mobilising USD 1 trillion in investments by 2030.

The pact, which was signed in the presence of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Power Minister Piyush Goyal and visiting World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim, establishes the multilateral lending agency as the financial partner for ISA.

The World Bank also announced that it plans to provide more than USD 1 billion to support India's ambitious solar initiatives through investments in generation, a World Bank statement said.

The World Bank-supported projects in the works include solar rooftop technology, infrastructure for solar parks, bringing innovative solar and hybrid technologies to market, and transmission lines for solar-rich states.

These combined investments for India would be the Bank's largest financing of solar for any country till date.

The central government and the Bank have also signed an agreement for the USD 625 million Grid Connected Rooftop Solar Programme, which will finance at least 400 mw of solar photovoltaic (PV) installations.

"The development of a $200 million Shared Infrastructure for Solar Parks Project under a public-private partnership model is also under preparation," the statement said.

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), World Bank's private sector arm, was one of the earliest financiers of wind and solar projects in India. It is supporting Madhya Pradesh to set up a 750-mw Rewa ultra-mega solar power project, billed as the largest single-site solar unit in the world.

"India's plans to virtually triple the share of renewable energy by 2030 will both transform the country's energy supply and have far-reaching global implications in the fight against climate change," said Kim. "The World Bank Group will do all it can to help India meet its ambitious targets, especially around scaling up solar energy."

Kim hoped that the signing of the agreement with ISA would help mobilise a global movement towards climate-friendly future.

As part of the pact, the Bank Group will develop a road map to mobilise financing for development and deployment of affordable solar energy, and work with other multilateral development banks and financial institutions to support solar energy development.

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