The World Bank Group has signed an agreement with the International Solar Alliance (ISA), consisting of 121 countries led by India, to collaborate on increasing solar energy use around the world, with the goal of mobilising $1 trillion in investments by 2030.
The agreement establishes the World Bank Group as a financial partner for the ISA and sees the institution as using its global development network, global knowledge and financing capacity to promote the use of solar energy.
The World Bank also announced it planned to provide more than $1 billion to support India’s ambitious initiatives to expand solar through investments in solar generation. The World Bank-supported projects under preparation include solar rooftop technology, infrastructure for solar parks, bringing innovative solar and hybrid technologies to market, and transmission lines for solar-rich states. These solar investments for India combined would be the Bank’s largest financing of solar for any country in the world to date.
World Bank Group president Jim Yong Kim said India’s plans to virtually triple the share of renewable energy by 2030 will both transform the country’s energy supply and have far-reaching global implications in the fight against climate change.
“[India’s] Prime Minister Modi’s personal commitment toward renewable energy, particularly solar, is the driving force behind these investments. The World Bank Group will do all it can to help India meet its ambitious targets, especially around scaling up solar energy,” he said.
As part of the agreement, the Bank Group will develop a roadmap to mobilize financing for development and deployment of affordable solar energy, and work with other multilateral development banks and financial institutions to develop financing instruments to support solar energy development.
In keeping with the Bank’s commitment to support India’s solar energy program, the Government of India and the World Bank signed an agreement for the $625 million Grid Connected Rooftop Solar Program. The project will finance the installation of at least 400MW of solar PV installations that will provide clean, renewable energy, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by displacing thermal generation.
The development of a $200 million Shared Infrastructure for Solar Parks Project under a public-private partnership model is also under preparation.
The task ahead for India in order to reach its goals are huge. Currently, there is approximately 6GW of solar installed – so around 94GW needs to be added in just a few years. However, India has already shown it can add solar quickly – in 2010, just 10MW was installed throughout the country.
As well as providing clean energy and slashing the nation’s carbon emissions; achieving 100GW of solar energy capacity by 2022 will provide as many as one million full-time jobs.