Rural electrification eyes renewables lending push

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Rural Electrification Corp. (REC), a state-owned backer of India’s power sector, plans to lend billions of rupees to clean-energy projects and equipment makers this fiscal year as part of an expanded push into renewables that will also see it issue green bonds overseas.

Rural electrification, renewables, India

Chairman P.V. Ramesh said that the non-banking financial company is aiming to triple its clean-energy lending and is expecting to set aside nearly Rs 10,000 crore ($1.5 billion) for renewable energy in the financial year ending 31 March,

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He further notified that they are not only financing projects but also evacuation infrastructure and have been talking with manufacturers of equipment like wind turbines, solar panels and storage batteries, which has a loan book of Rs2 trillion.

REC’s renewables strategy underscores a push by companies associated with conventional power to shift resources toward clean energy. The move, which supports Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s climate goals, also comes as some coal-fired electricity generators struggle to service debts.

The lender could issue clean-energy bonds outside India by the end of June, Ramesh said.

By Baishakhi Dutta

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