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India and US launch USD 95 million clean energy projects under OPIC financing

India and US launch USD 95 million clean energy projects under OPIC financing

New Delhi: The US on Tuesday announced two financial projects worth USD 95 million in India to bring more energy-efficient appliances to rural sector, as part of its efforts to continue the global transition to zero-and-low carbon energy sources.

The US has committed USD 70 million in Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) financing for renewable energy projects in India; and announced to launch a USD 20 million partnership this week with the philanthropic sector to bringmore efficient appliances to rural Indian villages.

The USD 75 million OPIC financing is for a utility-scale PV project in Telangana.

It is sponsored by ReNew Power Ventures. This commitment represents the rapid mobilisation of financing under a USD 250 million facility to support up to 400 MW of new solar power projects in India across multiple states, the White House said.

Further the OPIC and Indian Government will this week formally launch a USD 20 million distributed solar facility in partnership with leading philanthropies, it said.

Known as US-India Clean Energy Finance program (USICEF),it will address a key financing gap in the Indian distributed solar market by funding early-stage project preparatory work, it said. USICEF is anticipated to unlock up to USD 400 million inlong-term debt financing from OPIC and private sectorinvestors, the White House said.

According to the White House fact sheet, the RockefellerFoundation’s Smart Power for Rural Development Initiative isalso announcing a new partnership with the Clean EnergyMinisterial’s (CEM) Global Lighting and Energy AccessPartnership (Global LEAP) to accelerate the deployment and useof energy efficient off-grid devices in rural India.

The US Department of State will, subject to Congressional notification, provide funding for Global LEAP to support thedevelopment and roll out of a programme to deploy energy-efficient devices such as televisions, fans, and refrigeratorsat selected Smart Power supported mini-grid sites, the WhiteHouse said. It will also develop a strategy for a programme-widescale-up targeted to reduce energy costs for some of thepoorest people in India.

“When deployed it is expected to reduce energy consumptionby over 50 per cent for rural households, increase revenue formini-grid operators by over 300 per cent per household, andgenerate rural employment for people involved in distributionand supply chain management of the devices,” it said.

Noting that the US President Barack Obama’s leadership hascatalyzed a global transition towards a clean energy economy,the White House said from 2010-2015 alone, the US has investedin more than USD 11 billion in international clean energyfinance.

At the same time, the US has made research and developmenta top priority. Key achievements include establishing Mission Innovation(MI), with the leaders of 19 countries, to accelerateinnovation by doubling public investment in clean energyresearch and development to USD 30 billion over five years.