“The shift to a cleaner energy economy won’t happen overnight, and it will require tough choices along the way. But the debate is settled. Climate change is a fact. And when our children’s children look us in the eye and ask if we did all we could to leave them a safer, more stable world, with new sources of energy, I want us to be able to say yes, we did.” – President Barack Obama
During his recently concluded trip to India, President Barack Obama pledged to support India in its attempt to create a 160 billion dollar solar power industry. The United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) will provide an additional investment of $ 2 Billion for renewable energy in India.
This commitment takes the total foreign funding in Indian Solar and Green Energy to a whopping $ 8 billion. However, this is still a drop in the ocean as India plans to attract another $ 100 billion over the next 7 years to achieve its target of generating 100 GW of Solar Power by the year 2022. The US Export-Import bank has already committed an amount of $1 billion towards financing renewable energy projects in India. This development was seen as a step in the right direction, taking the total commitment by the US to over $ 3 billion, or around 18,000 Crore. The United Nations (UNO) has welcomed India’s aim of reducing its fusel-fuel pollution and carbon emissions by prioritizing development of the renewable energy sector. After the USA and China, India’s emissions are the third largest in the world.
One of the biggest problems faced by India will be raising credit and funding for these solar projects. High interest rates and the fluctuating currency keep domestic and international investors away. In its attempt to attract foreign funds, India decided to remove its anti-dumping duties against US made solar products earlier in August 2014. Consequently, SunEdison, an American solar panel manufacturer, decided to invest an amount of $4 billion to build the biggest solar panel factory in India. It is promising to see high interest by the government and other foreign players in the Solar Energy industry in India. With new partnerships, such as the one with the United States of America, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of generating 100 GW of Solar Energy by the year 2022 does seem to be right on track.