On Thursday, the World Bank greenlit a loan to India of over a billion US dollars, allowing India to fulfill its dream of establishing a country-wide solar project. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President of the World Bank, Jim Yong Kim, finalised the agreement that was headed by the International Solar Alliance, a body that was pioneered by India during the 2015 Climate Change Conference, in France.
With a plan in place to raise the country’s solar power capacity by at least 30 times, making this the largest undertaking of its kind. In a statement released by Modi’s office, they urged the World Bank to back the countries taking on the challenge of “consciously choosing to follow an environmentally sustainable path.”
As reported by The Economic Times, Jim Yong Kim praised Modi’s efforts and credits him for this achievement and intends to back him entirely; “Prime Minister Modi’s personal commitment toward renewable energy, particularly solar, is the driving force behind these investments,” said 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 agreement, which was signed in the presence of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Power Minister Piyush Goyal and Jim Yong Kim, asserts the multilateral lending agency as the official financial partner for ISA. Kim voiced his hope that this act will mobilise a global movement towards a climate-friendly and greener future.
To aid this program the World Bank also signed another agreement with the Government of India for the $625 million Grid Connected Rooftop Solar Program. This project will finance the setting up of at least 400 megawatts of solar Photovoltaic (PV) generators that will provide clean, renewable energy, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by displacing thermal generation.
With any luck this decision will increase not only awareness, but also India’s clean energy production capacity. There have also been talks of a $200 million shared infrastructure for a solar parks project under a public-private partnership model. According to a statement released by the World Bank, “The Bank’s support for India’s solar projects will increase the availability of financing, introduce new technologies, build capacity for solar rooftop units and enable the development of common infrastructure, which will support privately developed solar parks in a number of states across India.” This is a truly progressive move on Modi’s part and this sort of proactive environmental protection hopefully marks the start of an era where India acts more conscientiously towards the planet.
Featured image courtesy of Business Standard
Words: Shireen Jamooji