In a major push for India’s solar programme, the World Bank has committed more than US $1 billion in lending over financial year 2017. The Bank will support small and large initiatives, from the installation of solar panels on rooftops to setting up of massive solar parks. This is the Bank’s largest ever support for solar power in any country and the announcement comes as World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim visits the country this week.
“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 in an official release. “Prime Minister Modi’s personal commitment toward renewable energy, particularly solar, is the driving force behind these investments. The World Bank Group will do all it can to help India meet its ambitious targets, especially around scaling up solar energy.”
Kim will also express support for the International Solar Alliance (ISA), an alliance of 21 countries led by India and France at COP 21. ISA aims to mobilise a trillion dollars in investments to encourage the growth of solar energy.
The World Bank is already supporting other solar projects in India, including the approval of a $625 million loan for the country’s Grid Connected Rooftop Solar programme and setting up of the 750-MW ultra-mega solar power project in Rewa, Madhya Pradesh, financed by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the World Bank Group’s private sector arm.
“The rapid expansion of solar power can improve the quality of life for millions of Indians, especially for its poorest citizens,” said Onno Ruhl, World Bank country director in India. “It can also create thousands of jobs in the solar industry and underpin progress in all areas of development, helping the country fulfill its dream of becoming the ‘India of the future’.”
At COP 21 in Paris, India pledged to derive 40 per cent of its energy needs from renewable sources by 2030. The country has alsothe ambitious target of developing 100 GW of solar energy.
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