The World Bank Board has approved a $625 million loan to support the India’s programme to generate electricity from widespread installation of rooftop solar photo-voltaic (PV).
It also approved a co-financing loan of $120 million on concessional terms and a $5 million grant from Climate Investment Fund’s (CIF) Clean Technology Fund.
The project will finance the installation of at least 400 MW of grid connected rooftop solar photovoltaic (GRPV) across India. These solar PV installations will provide clean, renewable energy, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by displacing thermal generation. The project will also strengthen the capacity of key institutions, and support the development of the overall solar PV market.
The project will be implemented by the State Bank of India (SBI), which will on-lend funds to solar PV developers/aggregators and end-users, who wish to invest in mainly commercial and industrial rooftop PV systems.
India is one of the lowest per capita consumers of electricity in the world. Over 200 million people remain unconnected to the electricity grid, and those who are, continue to face frequent disruptions. Power shortages also affect industrial output with many industries and manufacturers relying on expensive and polluting diesel-based back-up power supplies.
Aided by government policy and declining costs, rooftop solar has the potential to transform the energy sector. The overall potential demand for rooftop solar is estimated at about 124,000 MW.