Published: Mon, March 12, 2018
Global Media | By Derrick Guzman

PM Modi for concessional, less-risky finances for solar projects

PM Modi for concessional, less-risky finances for solar projects

Summit, co-facilitated by India and France, at Rashtrapati Bhavan commences today, it not just expedites spotlight India as a key player in bridling sunlight based vitality, it is additionally being viewed as an vast strategic triumph for the nation.

France had already committed 300m euros to the initiative when it co-founded with India a global alliance in 2015 to unlock new cash for solar projects in sunny yet poor nations.

The Summit, which was attended by 25 heads of state and government, provided a dedicated platform for co-operation amongst solar resource-rich countries.

Bangladesh yesterday called for ensuring transfer of technology and allocation of adequate funds for promoting affordable and sustainable use of solar energy in developing countries.

Macron in his address said while the world has taken great strides in understanding the importance of solar energy, much needs to be done. It aims to contribute to the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement through rapid and massive deployment of solar energy.

He said that ISA guidelines include the cooperation of its members in the implementation of coherent programs and voluntary activities to finance solar projects. "We are not just protecting the environment; we are protecting people and their well-being", he said.

In 2014, the USA offered about US$ 2.7 billion in climate finance, a sum comparable with contributions from Germany and France. Laying emphasis on united efforts globally to deal with the challenge, Mr Modi quoted Mahatma Gandhi and said "The difference in what we do and what we are capable of doing, will suffice and help solve world's most problems". Towards this, the ISA has set a target of 1 TW of solar energy by 2030, which current French President Emmanuel Macron said would require $1 trillion to achieve. "So it is a good trade opportunity for France to export green technology to India and member countries of ISA". This is thanks to an over 80% reduction in Chinese module prices, according to Mercom, a company that provides market intelligence on the clean energy sector. If China, Taiwan, and Malaysia can provide this at low cost, India shouldn't block this.

In any event, India's domestic content requirement policy for solar equipment has already been successfully challenged by the USA at the WTO.

Some are of the view that India should not try to protect its domestic solar manufacturers. This constitutes 32.2% of total installed capacity. Japan comes second, followed by Germany, the USA and Italy. Vivan Sharan, partner, Koan advisory group, said, "Our National Solar Mission has gone stagnant; there is no grid parity and tariff is still a crucial concern". This comes even as India chases the world's largest renewable programme, targeting 175 gigawatts (GW, or 1,000 megawatts) of renewable power by 2022 against its current capacity of around 60 GW. As much as 20-50 percent of the population do not have access to power.

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