January 15, 2015: The solar industry can have a reason to smile as the Manila-based Asian Development Bank (ADB) has extended an offer to provide loans of upto $100 million to Acme Solar Energy Private Ltd in order to finance new solar plants in India. “Solar and other renewable power sources are essential for India’s energy diversification and security, and for underpinning the country’s long term growth,” said Isabelle Chauche, Investment Specialist in ADB’s Private Sector Operations Department. This move indicates a bright future for the country as a whole as it is sure to get cleaner solar power in the future with more involvement of the private sector, considering their investment barriers will come down by a great extent. The Acme group already has a number of solar projects in the pipeline that will generate about 350MW of clean power for the country.
ADB has already been financing solar projects in Jodhpur district of Rajasthan where the solar irradiance levels are known to be the highest. The projects that will be financed by ADB in the future will be selected on various criteria, including long term offtake of generated electricity, financial viability, and compliance with environmental and social safeguard. This financing shows ADB’s commitment towards the development of India’s solar sector and also the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission which emphasises on setting up of an environment that is suitable for solar technology to manifest in the country.
As of September 2014, the total installed solar power capacity in India totalled to 2,766 MW. The program is targeting installed generation capacity of 22,000 MW of solar power in India by 2022.
Apart from ADB, International Finance Corporation and commercial banks are expected to provide estimated loans of $100 million and Acme Solar Energy Private Ltd an estimated equity of $65 million, for a total investment cost of $265 million.