Yesterday (Jan. 26) President Barak Obama met with India Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Dehli. There they discussed, among other things, clean energy and Modi’s ambitious goals to grow the country’s solar electric capacity to 100 gigawatts by 2022. That’s an extremely ambitious goal considering that the nation currently has about 3.3 gigawatts of solar energy installed.
However, Modi has already championed solar power in country. As the chief minister of Gujarat he oversaw the some of the first giant solar installations there. And the country is moving forward quickly already. Last year the country had just 1 gigawatt of solar power installed. Bloomberg observed that it now has 3.3 gigawatts of solar power.
The U.S. already supported some solar projects in India through the Export-Import Bank and is likely to support more. The White House released a fact sheet yesterday explaining some of the steps it will offer to India to help it achieve its clean energy goals.
But this new goal has a big price tag. “India’s ambition would require $160 billion,” said Arunabha Ghosh, chief executive officer at the New Delhi-based Council on Energy, Environment & Water.
One the key things that the U.S. will offer the country are financing capabilities. The fact sheet said that USAID will install a field investment officer in India this summer, backed by a transactions team to help mobilize private capital for the clean energy sector. “In February, The United States will host the Clean Energy Finance Forum and government-to-government Clean Energy Finance Task Force to help overcome strategic barriers to accelerating institutional and private financing,” the sheet said.
In addition, the Department of Commerce plans to launch a clean energy trade mission. And, “The Export-Import Bank is exploring potential projects for its MOU with the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency for up to $1 billion in clean energy financing.”
Beyond just offering financing the U.S. and India agreed to expand the Partnership to Advance Clean Energy Research (PACE-R). The program is funded by the U.S. and India with $125 million and is aimed at solar energy, building energy efficiency, and advanced biofuels research.Tweet