The Home Ministry, Government of India, has released a letter stating that investments from the International Solar Association (ISA) will no longer be treated as a foreign source of funding.
This step is likely to create a positive impact on Indian solar photovoltaic (PV) project developers who have been struggling to find viable funding options for projects.
According to a PTI report, “The ISA will no longer be treated as a ‘foreign source’ of funding for Indian NGOs and other entities under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA).”
The report cited Union Home Ministry officials commenting that the decision is part of India’s dedicated efforts to assist and help achieve the goal of increasing the use of solar energy.
The government notification states: In exercise of the power conferred by clauses, and provisions of FCRA, the central government hereby specifies that the international organization, namely, the ‘International Solar Alliance’ will not be treated as ‘foreign source’ for the purposes of the said Act.
Simply put, it means funds coming to NGOs, and other entities originating from the ISA will not be governed by the FCRA.
Mercom recently reported that in 2018, investments in India’s solar sector witnessed a decline of 15% year-over-year.
At the 2nd Global RE-Invest India-ISA Partnership Renewable Energy Investors’ Meet & Expo (RE-Invest 2018), leading bankers and renewable energy financing experts from multi-lateral agencies had discussed solutions about the financing of renewable energy projects, and how access to this financing could be improved to expand clean energy projects domestically and globally. Read more about that discussion here.
The ISA is the first full-fledged treaty-based international intergovernmental organization headquartered in India. Recently, Bolivia signed the framework agreement of ISA, joining hands with India towards a common goal of sustainability.
In February 2019, Argentina and Saudi Arabia signed the framework agreement of the ISA.
Recently, ISA and the European Union signed a joint declaration for the cooperation on solar energy. The declaration was inked at the 24th conference of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change held in Katowice, Poland.
In November 2018, the Indian government submitted a resolution to the first assembly of the ISA to amend the framework agreement to open ISA membership to all the countries that are members of the United Nations.
Earlier, at the inaugural conference of the ISA held in New Delhi, the Government of India pledged $1.4 billion to fund the development of solar projects in 15 African and South Asian countries that are part of the ISA consortium.
Saumy is a senior staff reporter with MercomIndia.com covering business and energy news since 2016. Prior to Mercom, Saumy was a copy editor at Thomson Reuters. Saumy earned his Bachelors Degree in Journalism & Mass Communication from the Manipal Institute of Communication at Manipal University. More articles from Saumy Prateek.