After Paris, India gets support for solar power

India chose Mahatma Ghandi's birthday to deposit its signature on last year's climate agreement.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |   Oct. 4, 2016 at 6:30 AM
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After depositing its signature to the Paris climate deal, India's low-carbon objectives received financial support to advance solar energy, a lender said.

The Asian Development Bank said it would set aside $500 million in funding to help advance a rooftop solar energy system to help India acclimate to what, for the country's energy sector, is emerging technology.

"There is huge potential for India to expand its use of solar rooftop technologies because of the sharp drop in the price of solar panels, meaning the cost of producing solar energy is at or close to that from fossil fuels," Anqian Huang, a regional specialist at the ADB', said in a statement. "Sourcing more solar energy will also help India meet the carbon emissions reduction target that it has committed to as part of the recent global climate change agreement."

Indian chose Oct. 2 as the day to ratify the Paris climate agreement reached last year to commemorate the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi. India's decision to ratify means it will treat its recommendations as national law.

Under the terms of the agreement, wealthier nations like China and the United States are expected to help finance the shift to a low-carbon economy in poor, developing nations. The ADB said the funding should mean a reduction of 11 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions from the Indian economy over a 25-year period.

The government aims to increase the amount of emissions by 33 percent of the 2005 levels and increase the share of renewable power in its energy sector by 40 percent by 2030. For rooftop solar, the government set a goal of increasing its power potential to 40 gigawatts from 2022.

The support for low-carbon initiatives came less than a week after India's energy company said it would invest just over $5 billion to develop reserves locked in deep national waters. According to industry estimates, India's demand for oil grew by almost 7 percent over last year.

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