The World Bank will invest more than US$1 billion to support India’s solar programs, including projects to develop rooftop solar technology, provide infrastructure for solar parks, introduce new solar and hybrid technologies, and install transmission capacity in solar-rich states.
SBI Capital Markets, a subsidiary of the State Bank of India, said the funds would support at least 400 megawatts of new solar capacity across the country, the Economic Times of India reports.
“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 Bank President Jim Yong Kim. “The World Bank Group will do all it can to help India meet its ambitious targets, especially around scaling up solar energy.”
The announcement in New Delhi last week was part of a much larger deal with the International Solar Alliance, a 121-nation group led by India and France, to mobilize $1 trillion in new investment by 2030.
“With around 300 days of sunshine every year, India has among the best conditions in the world to harness solar energy,” said World Bank India Country Director Onno Ruhl. “The rapid expansion of solar power can improve the quality of life for millions of Indians, especially for its poorest citizens,” creating thousands of solar industry jobs and “underpin[ning] progress in all areas of development.”
Even the world’s largest coal company, Coal India Ltd., is getting into the act, with an announcement that it will work with the Solar Energy Corporation of India to build 200 MW of installed capacity in Madhya Pradesh state. The company set a one-gigawatt solar target, CleanTechnica reports, after the national government directed all major public sector companies to support the country’s solar initiative.