As part of its efforts to continue the global transition to zero-and-low carbon energy sources, the United States (US) has announced two financial projects worth 95 million US dollars for India. The projects announced on 14 November 2016 aims at bringing more energy-efficient appliances to rural sector of the country.
The White House in its statement said the US has committed 75 million dollars in Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) financing for renewable energy projects in India. The 75 million US dollar OPIC, sponsored by ReNew Power Projects, is for a utility-scale PV project in Telangana.
Rest 20 million dollars will be used to launch a partnership with the philanthropic sector to bring more efficient appliances to Indian villages. It is a part of 250 million facilities committed by the United States to support India’s 400 MW new solar power projects in different states of India.
The process, known as the US-India Clean Energy Finance program (USICEF), will address a key financing gap in the Indian distributed solar market by funding early-stage project preparatory work. It is anticipated that the USICEF will unlock up to 400 million US dollars in long-term debt financing from OPIC and private sector investors.
The White House fact sheet says that the Rockefeller Foundations Smart Power for Rural Development Initiative will announce a new partnership with the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) Global Lighting and Energy Access Partnership (Global LEAP). This will help in accelerating the deployment and use of energy efficient off-grid devices in rural India. This decision on funding the Global LEAP is subject to Congressional notification. LEAP will support in developing and rolling out a programme to deploy energy-efficient devices at selected Smart Power supported mini-grid sites.
A strategy will be developed to reduce energy costs for some of the poorest people residing in India. As believed, deployment of the LEAP programme will reduce energy consumption by at least 50 percent of rural households. Programme implementation would result in
• Increasing revenue for mini-grid operators by over 300 percent per household
• It will help in generating rural employment by involving people in distribution and supply chain management of the devices.