The European Investment Bank has signed a new €150 million long-term loan with the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) to support renewable energy investment across India.
More than 1.1 million Indian households expected to benefit from clean energy produced by renewable schemes financed by the new initiative, the EIB said in a press release on March 10.
“The significant new European Investment Bank support signed today (March 10) will strengthen the expansion of clean energy generation across India,” said the country’s minister of state for new and renewable energy, Raj Kumar Singh.
“I welcome the continued cooperation between IREDA and the European Investment Bank that builds the clear success of new renewable energy and energy efficiency investment over the last four years,” he added.
Singh oversaw the signing of the new loan for renewable energy investment agreement in New Delhi by EIB President Werner Hoyer and IREDA Chairman and Managing Director Kuljit Singh Popli.
“India is the world’s third largest electricity consumer,” Hoyer said. “The expansion of solar power generation alongside cutting energy use through energy efficiency measures is crucial to supporting sustainable economic development and reducing carbon emissions. The strengthened partnership between IREDA and the European Investment Bank reflects the joint commitment of India and the European Union to implement the Paris climate agreement,” he said, adding that investment in new solar energy and wind power schemes will improve access to clean energy for millions of Indians and create many new jobs.
“I am pleased that this flagship initiative could be highlighted to world leaders attending the International Solar Alliance summit here in New Delhi and showcased as a model to tackle energy challenges around the world,” Hoyer said,
The new €150 million EIB credit line will support €500 million of renewable investment and support construction of both new photovoltaic solar power schemes and on-shore wind farms at sites across the country.
“Electricity demand in India is expected to double in the next decade and how this electricity is generated is important for both India and this planet,” the EU’s Ambassador to India Tomasz Kozlowski said. “The new support for renewable energy investment across India will benefit from the European Investment Bank unique technical and financial experience. This new initiative with IREDA demonstrates how European engagement in India will benefit millions of people,” he added.
According to the EIB, hundreds of new jobs will be created during construction and once operational the new schemes are expected to produce 1,156 Gigawatt-hour of clean electricity when operating at maximum capacity.
India was the leading recipient of EIB financing for solar investment outside the European Union, both in 2017 and overall since 2013. The EIB has approved a total of €640 million of new investment in solar projects in India set to provide clean energy to an estimated 4.2 million households and save more than 4 million tons of carbon emissions.