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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

World Bank's IFC lends $300 mn for green energy

NEW DELHI: World Bank arm International Finance Corporation (IFC) has pledged $300 million for the development of renewable energy projects in India. The investment would be a mix of equity and debt over the next three years, IFC director (infrastructure ) Anita George said.

Aquarter of the amount would be invested in the country's nascent solar energy sector while the rest would go to wind and biomass projects, she said. "India has a huge potential in solar power," George said, adding that "proper study, regulatory framework and indigenous manufacturing could help realise this potential."

At present, solar projects contribute less than 1% to the total power generated in the country. The funding announced by IFC is part of the $1 billion that the international lender plans to spend on renewable energy projects across the world by 2013.

George said India was doing well in the solar power sector but it needed to be more pro-active like neighbouring China. "India needs to do the same to spur its renewable energy sector," she said.

George said IFC was supporting financial institutions, such as Infrastructure Development Finance Company , so that they are able to lend more to renewable energy projects. "This way we are trying to ensure that more global players come into the country for the National Solar Mission."

George said banks in India were slowly getting interested in funding solar projects. "Once two-three years pass, banks would chip-in for more solar projects," she said.

According to her, IFC was also in advanced talks with some solar power developers in the country.

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