The World Bank Group says it hopes to provide more than $1 billion this year to support India’s goal of 100 gigawatts of solar energy by 2022.
“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 WBG President Jim Yong Kim.
“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.”
The figure represents the Bank’s biggest funding package for solar power in any country. Support for the initiative will also be sourced from Clean Technology Fund and from public and private investors.
Already approved is a $625 million loan to support the Government of India’s Grid Connected Rooftop Solar program, which aims to finance the installation of 400 MW of rooftop solar.
Other WBG initiatives in the pipeline for India include the development of solar parks, energy storage and solar mini-grids.
“The Bank’s backing will help increase the availability of private financing, introduce new technologies, build capacity for solar rooftop units, and enable the development of common infrastructure to support privately developed solar parks across India,” says a statement from the World Bank.
The task ahead for India in order to reach its goals are huge. Currently, there is approximately 6 gigawatts of solar installed – so around 94GW needs to be added in just a few years.
However, India has already shown it can add solar quickly – in 2010, just 10MW was installed throughout the country.
As well as providing clean energy and slashing the nation’s carbon emissions; achieving 100 GW of solar energy capacity by 2022 will provide an employment bonanza.
A study published last year found as many as one million full time jobs could be created.
With around 300 days of sunshine every year, India will certainly be well placed to make use of the capacity and help bring power to many of the 300 million people in the country without access to electricity.