U.S. to finance India for Solar energy

U.S.
President Barack Obama on Sunday offered to help finance India’s ambitious
solar energy target and sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s support at global
climate talks in Paris later this year. India is the world’s third-largest
greenhouse gas emitter and often acts as the voice of the world’s developing
countries in United Nations talks on everything from climate change to economic
cooperation. It is reluctant to commit to emission targets on the ground that
this could hinder economic growth, which is vital to lifting millions of
Indians out of poverty. Instead, Modi has made it a priority to expand India’s
renewable energy capacity and lessen the need for polluting fossil fuels.

President
Obama is in India as the state guest for Republic day celebrations here.
Needless to say, clean energy is a major focus area in the dialogue between the
two countries. To spur the solar sector, and meet its 100 GW solar goal, India
is looking for investments to the tune of a $100 billion within a period of 6–7
years — more than half of this is expected to come from abroad. This is where
the United States is expected to play an important role.

US
President Barack Obama shakes hands with India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi
(L) at the conclusion of a CEO Roundtable and Forum at the India U.S. Business
Summit in New Delhi January 26, 2015. (Image credit:REUTERS)

In
September of last year, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was in the US to
persuade capitalists to invest in solar and wind sectors back home. To get
things rolling, the US Export-Import Bank entered into an agreement with the
Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) and offered $1 billion in
low-cost loan to India for aiding the development of renewable energy projects.

Explaining
the US stance in a joint press conference with Modi yesterday, President Obama
said, “We very much support India’s ambitious goal for solar energy, and stand
ready to speed this expansion with additional financing.” To which, Modi added:
We discussed our ambitious national efforts and goals to increase the use of
clean and renewable energy. We also agreed to further enhance our excellent and
innovative partnership in this area. I asked him (Obama) to lead international
efforts in making renewable energy more accessible and affordable to the world.
President and I expressed hope for a successful Paris Conference on climate
change this year.
Cooperation
on clean energy between the two countries is expected to evolve as part of the
2009 clean energy initiative called Partnership to Advance Clean Energy (PACE),
signed between Obama and the then Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. India
is also deep into preparations for a three-day global renewable energy investor
summit, “RE-INVEST,” which is about two weeks away. A high-profile entourage of
top executives from US government and industry is expected to participate in
the event

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