Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Barack Obama have signed up on forming two innovative financing initiatives that are expected to generate a $1-billion market for clean energy in India. There is an urgent need of turning the emerging cooperative initiatives signed in Paris along with the US and 175 other countries, into reality.
United States and India are the two most populous democracies in the world and together account for more than one-fifth of global greenhouse gas emissions. Over the past few years, climate change and clean energy have emerged as central facets of our relationship. The meet between the two leaders is expected to be ‘greening up the (Indian) grid,’ with most developments related to off-grid and rural electrification.
The two initiatives being set up for solar power between the two countries are the US-India Clean Energy Finance (ICEF) and the US-India Catalytic Solar Finance Program (ICSFP). Around $20 million would be raised by ICEF from different US agencies in collaboration with the Indian government. This will be the initial phase and it will be aided by the US government development finance institution, OPIC (Overseas Private Investment Corporation). It is estimated that the Indian solar can be looking at nearly $400 million through these initiatives. ICSFP would be investing $40 million in the rooftop solar programme (40 percent of total solar power planned for 2022). These initiatives are expected to be a long term plan that would usher in investments and help in reducing solar prices in India.
Modi has intentions of generating 100 GW electricity from solar (from the current 6.97 GW) and another 75 GW from wind and other renewable sources by 2022. He is also looking at increasing the market share of nuclear power from 4 percent to 25 percent by 2050. Nuclear liability legislations have been cleared by Modi. Negotiations are expected with Westinghouse – a supplier of nuclear reactors. Nuclear power is clean energy but there are huge concerns over its safety after the disaster caused due to tsunami at Fukushima power plants in Japan.
Images source: Wikipedia Commons
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