India will set up $350-mn solar fund to start mobilisation under ISA

Solar Power
In order to kick-start fund mobilisation under the International Solar Alliance (ISA), the central government will set up a $350-million solar development fund.

Nine companies and banks have agreed to develop and finance various solar projects, which include a $1-billion partnership corpus of NTPC and CLP India to the ISA.

The fund was announced by R K Singh, Minister of Power and New and Renewable Energy, at the first ever outreach programme of the ISA in Abu Dhabi’s World Future Energy Summit (WFES) 2018. “Over the years, renewable energy has become cheaper and is set to replace conventional energy, which is a healthy development… India has one of the fastest-growing renewable energy programmes in the world and the country would achieve its target of 175 gigawatt of installed renewable energy capacity well before 2020. The ISA shall help mobilise sufficient funds for solar energy projects,” Singh said in his address at the WFES.

Upendra Tripathy, interim director general, ISA, said the letter of intent/memoranda of understanding (MoUs) of nine solar-related projects of various companies and bankers had been signed at the WFES. The firms are: Vyonarc Development, Greenko Solar, Gensol Group and SOLARIG from Spain, Shakti Pump, Refex Energy, Amplus Solar, TATA Power, Jackson Solar, and Zodiac Energy.

Amplus Energy Solutions signed an MoU with YES Bank to co-finance solar projects in India.

YES Bank will look for bankable projects to invest in and Amplus will develop them. The project capacity is expected to be up to 1,000 megawatt under the partnership, to be developed by 2023.

The bank has announced it will mobilise $1 billion by 2023 for financing solar energy projects in India, and $5 billion till 2030.

Tripathy said CLP India and NTPC announced forging a partnership deal with the ISA and committed to making a voluntary contribution of $1 million each to the ISA fund corpus. The International Energy Agency and Green Climate Fund also announced entering into partnerships with the ISA. “Over 100 projects shall be signed by April 2018 under the ISA umbrella,” he said.

Officially announced during the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris on November 30, 2015, the ISA is a partnership of countries rich in solar resources. Currently, there are 121 countries, with a large participation from Africa, Southeast Asia, and Europe, which have in principle agreed to be members of the ISA.

France is a partner country and the then French President, François Hollande, laid the foundation of the ISA in Gurugram last year. On receipt of 15 ratifications, the ISA Framework Agreement entered into force in December last year, making the ISA a de jure treaty-based international intergovernmental organisation.

So far 19 countries have ratified and 48 countries have signed the ISA Framework Agreement, said a government statement.

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