World Bank approves India’s $625m solar programme

World Bank approves India’s $625m solar programme

The World Bank has approved a US$625 million loan for the Indian government’s rooftop solar PV programme, in addition to a co-funding loan of $120 million and a $5 million grant from Climate Investment Fund’s (CIF) Clean Technology Fund.

The State Bank of India (SBI) will receive and distribute the funds which will finance at least 400MW of rooftop systems and support India’s total solar market.

The World Bank said the majority of the funding will go towards commercial and industry systems and candidates will have to meet SBI standards for technical capacity, relevant experience and creditability.

“The variety of financing mechanisms on offer under this programme will represent a major innovation for the rooftop market,” said Mohua Mukherjee, senior energy specialist and World Bank’s task team leader for the programme. “Most importantly, the scope of the project will go beyond simply making finance available, it will also improve the investment climate for solar PV, and increase the ease of doing rooftop business.”

The World Bank released a statement explaining that power shortages in the country affect industrial output with many industries and manufacturers having to rely on expensive and polluting backup power supplies, while more than 200 million people have no access to electricity.

Onno Ruhl, country director in India for World Bank stated: “Through this project and others like it, tens of millions of electricity customers will eventually be able to generate part of their own electricity needs, from one of the cleanest sources of energy.”

The Indian city of Chandigarh is planning to be the second municipality in the country to make rooftop solar mandatory on all buildings.