Guest essay by Eric Worrall
President Obama’s administration appears to be pushing out a final hundred million dollars in grants to foreign green projects, ahead of the January 20th handover to the new Trump administration.
OPIC AND RENEW POWER VENTURES SIGN COMMITMENT FOR 100 MEGAWATT SOLAR FARM IN INDIA
Marrakech, Morocco – The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government’s development finance institution, signed a commitment with ReNew of approximately $74 million for a 100 MW solar project in the Indian state of Telangana. Announced during the 22nd session of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP22), this project will diversify the country’s power generation mix with a clean source of renewable power and help the country reduce GHG emissions.
“In India, outdoor air pollution is an ever growing public health concern. OPIC’s partnership with Renew Power Ventures will have a transformative impact by helping India both reduce its emissions and increase energy capacity in the country through a diversified power generation mix,” said OPIC President and CEO Elizabeth L. Littlefield. “OPIC is committed to assisting India in its transition to a low carbon economy by investing in clean energy projects.”
The Telangana solar project is the first project approved under the ReNew Master Financing Facility, a $250 million facility between OPIC and ReNew to be used for the development, construction, and operation of solar energy projects awarded under the Government of India’s Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission. Under the ReNew Master Financing Facility, up to 400 MW of new solar renewable power generation will be constructed in India across multiple projects. ReNew will be utilizing the innovative Master Financing Facility provided by OPIC to streamline the timeline for financing new renewable energy projects.
Generating electricity from renewable energy can reduce a country’s dependence on fossil fuels and offers significant health benefits, in addition to being a sustainable source of energy. As the fourth largest energy consumer in the world, India must overcome a number of challenges to meet its rising energy demand and sustain economic growth. Currently, solar energy accounts for approximately one percent of total energy capacity in India, or 7.5 gigawatts. This project will support the Government of India’s goal to have 170 GW of installed renewable capacity by 2022, of which 100 GW are to be solar.
OPIC is the U.S. Government’s development finance institution. It mobilizes private capital to help address critical development challenges and in doing so, advances U.S. foreign policy and national security priorities. Because OPIC works with the U.S. private sector, it helps U.S. businesses gain footholds in emerging markets, catalyzing revenues, jobs and growth opportunities both at home and abroad. OPIC achieves its mission by providing investors with financing, political risk insurance, and support for private equity investment funds, when commercial funding cannot be obtained elsewhere. Established as an agency of the U.S. Government in 1971, OPIC operates on a self-sustaining basis at no net cost to American taxpayers.
All OPIC projects adhere to high environmental and social standards and respect human rights, including worker’s rights. By mandating high standards, OPIC aims to raise the industry and regional standards of the countries where it funds projects. OPIC services are available for new and expanding business enterprises in more than 160 countries worldwide.
According to India Economic Times, an additional $20 million has also been released, bringing to total so far to $95 million, as part of what Economic Times describes as a rapid mobilisation of financing.