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.
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.
Image by Pete Zouza | White House