Asian lenders announce backing for the drive in India to put more wind and solar power on the grid. File photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo
Sept. 28 (UPI) -- Regional lenders said Thursday they were offering hundreds of millions of dollars in loans to support the greening up of the power sector in India.
The Asian Development Bank and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank said they were backing $500 million in government-backed loans and another $500 million in non-sovereign support for the Power Grid Corp. of India.
"We are pleased that this first AIIB co-financed project in India will bring clean energy to more people and help the country achieve its ambitious renewable energy targets," Priyantha Wijayatunga, a regional energy director for the ADB, said in a statement.
The two loans will support grid systems in western and southern India that deliver solar and wind energy across the grid.
India, one of the fastest growing economies in the world, aims to triple its renewable power capacity by 2022 to 175 gigawatts by drawing on new solar and wind energy sources. Last week, French energy company ENGIE said it teamed up with an investment group to help develop a wind energy program in the country.
The company formed a partnership with the Abraaj investment group to develop as much as 1 gigawatt of wind power in the Indian energy sector. Power consumption in India will grow at an annual rate of 9 percent through 2020, according to ENGIE.
An August report on India's energy sector from the International Renewable Energy Agency found the government could save on health-related costs and create more jobs while at the same time seeing the demand for coal and oil products drop between 17 percent and 23 percent by 2030.
The International Monetary Fund warned earlier this year, however, that India may have trouble attracting new capital because of weakness in the nation's banking system.