The World Bank’s groundbreaking US$1 billion loan for Indian solar will partly focus on improving transmission for solar parks and innovation in wind and energy storage hybrids, according to a senior government official.

Tarun Kapoor, joint secretary of the Ministry for New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), told PV Tech: “The loans are already identified and are at various stages of approval.”

He said these include a US$625 million loan for solar rooftop and US$200 million for supporting internal infrastructure in solar parks.

Meanwhile, another US$200 million loan will be available for large-scale solar projects and innovation with wind and storage hybrids to be implemented by the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI).

Another loan will be for state-owned transmission and utilities firm Power Grid Corporation to help support transmission from solar parks. This is particularly pertinent given widepsread concerns over the ability of India’s transmission network to handle the expected surge in intermittent solar power coming online over the next two years. 

Jasmeet Khurana, associate firector, consulting, Bridge to India, recently wrote that the government needs to prioritize investments into the transmission infrastructure to proactively assuage concerns of the sector.

Referring to the World Bank loan, Kapoor added: “We won’t term it as an ultimate stamp of approval for India’s solar sector, but in any case this is encouraging.”

In a guest blog on PV Tech today Tim Buckley, director of energy finance studies, Australasia, Institute of Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), explains how significant this loan is for India and what else will be driving the necessary US$100 billion solar investment by 2022.

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