$350-million solar development fund in the works: Raj Kumar Singh

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India is setting up a $350-million solar development fund to support financing of solar projects, minister of state for new and renewable energy Raj Kumar Singh said.

Delivering the keynote address at the International Solar Alliance (ISA) Forum in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday, the minister said the cost of renewable energy has fallen steeply over the years and it was set to replace conventional energy.

“India will achieve its target of installing 175 GW of renewable energy capacity well before 2020,” Singh said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had earlier set 2022 as the deadline for reaching this milestone. “India has one of the fastest growing renewable energy programmes in the world,” Singh added.

ISA is an alliance of sunshine-rich countries set up jointly by India and France on the sidelines of the historic Paris meeting on climate change in November 2015. The forum was one of its first outreach programmes. So far, 19 countries have ratified and 48 signed the ISA Framework Agreement.

Upendra Tripathy, interim director general of ISA, said letters of intent and memorandums of understanding for 10 new solar-related projects have been signed with various companies and bankers during the two-day forum, which ended on Thursday.

“Over 100 such projects will be signed by April this year under the ISA umbrella,” he added.

The companies that signed LoIs/MoUs included Vyonarc Development Ltd., Greenko Solar, Gensol Group and SOLARIG from Spain, Shakti Pump, Refex Energy, Amplus Solar, TATA Power, Jackson Solar and Zodiac Energy.

YES Bank committed itself to financing solar projects of over $5 billion.

The ISA event was held alongside the World Future Energy Summit 2018, a signature event that Abu Dhabi hosts every year.

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