The Government of India and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. government’s development finance institution, has launched the US-India Clean Energy Finance (USICEF) Facility Initiative with $20 million (~Rs.1.36 billion). The USICEF will initiate the flow of up to $400 million (~Rs.27.1 billion) in public and private financing for renewable power generation to benefit up to 1 million households by 2020. Developers of mini-grid, distributed rooftop, and off-grid solar projects, as well as small-scale grid-connected solar projects will benefit from this initiative.
The USICEF is a first step towards the fulfillment of a renewable energy partnership between the U.S. and India. United States and India inked a $1 billion (~Rs.67.9 billion) pact to bolster the partnership between the two countries to help India achieve its goal of installing 175 GW of renewable energy by 2022, on June 07, 2016. The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Good Energies Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the David and Lucille Packard Foundation have committed funding to USICEF. The Climate Policy Initiative (CPI) in Delhi will oversee the initiative.
A letter of intent was signed and exchanged between the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) and OPIC in presence of Mr. Piyush Goyal, Minister of Power, stated a Government of India release. “Our analysis has shown huge potential for renewable energy companies to scale-up in India, but many lack much-needed debt capital. We are pleased to be part of this initiative that will help overcome this barrier, help this industry achieve scale, and help ensure India stays on track to realize its clean energy ambitions,” said Dr. Gireesh Shrimali, Director of CPI India.
Previously, Mercom had reported on $74 million (~Rs.5 billion) commitment by OPIC to set up a 100 MW solar project in Telangana. The USICEF will lead to additional project financing for solar developers in India.