India was among the top recipients of electricity financing during the year 2015-16, with two-thirds of total financing concentrated in South Asia, according to a report titled “Energizing Finance: Understanding the Landscape 2018” released by Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL).
The top three countries – India, Philippines, and Bangladesh received an average of $24 billion a year in 2015-16, making up 79.5 percent of total financing for electricity.
The report shows that financial commitments to achieve universal access to electricity and clean cooking are still falling short. However, it is important to note here that the report covered electricity financing for 2015-16.
According to the report, $52 billion is needed annually to meet the goal of universal electrification, but financing commitments do not match this need. The 20 ‘high-impact’ countries, which represent 76 percent of people without electricity access, received on average just $30.2 billion per year over 2015-16.
In the case of financing for clean cooking, the 20 countries with the largest clean cooking access gaps, which comprise 81 percent of the global population, saw a decrease of five percent in clean cooking access during 2015-16. They received an average of $30 million per year over 2015-16 compared to the estimated annual investment of $4.4 billion.
“The good news is that renewables offer us a powerful opportunity to provide reliable and affordable clean electricity both through the grid and off-grid”, said, Rachel Kyte, CEO for Sustainable Energy for All, in a press release.
The report also found that financing for off-grid technologies nearly doubled from $210 million in 2013-14 to $380 million in 2015-16. However, this was only 1.3 percent of total financing flows into energy access in 2015-16.
Financing for solar PV witnessed an almost fivefold increase in 2015-16, when compared with 2013-14. Nearly 54 percent of all financing committed in 2015-16 went to grid-connected renewable energy which stood at $16.2 billion annually.
Barbara Buchner, Executive Director, Climate Policy Initiative, said: “Regions with the highest needs, like Sub Saharan Africa, are getting the smallest share, while we’re seeing big gaps for some of the technologies with the most promise, like off-grid renewable energy and clean cooking. This should be a wake-up call to policy makers and investors who are working to ensure universal and sustainable energy.”
The research was conducted in partnership with the Climate Policy Initiative.
Recently, India emerged as the world’s largest cash market for off-grid solar products, with 1.3 million products sold in H1 2018 alone. This accounts for an impressive 44 percent of global sales, according to a report published by the Global Off-Grid Lighting Association (GOGLA).