India and the US are close to signing a billion dollar financing deal for renewable energy projects, according to reports.
Indian media are reporting that the two countries will soon announce a US$1 billion loan facility between the ExIm Bank and the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) for clean energy projects.
According to the Business Standard, IREDA’s chairman and managing director KS Popli confirmed that an announcement was close.
As a condition of the loans, 30% of the equipment for each project would have to have been sourced in India.
Speaking prior to the visit, a White House official confirmed energy access was on the agenda.
“…We look forward to continued emphasis on India’s energy security, and how we can work together to advance that goal and objective, including with respect to access to energy for the 400 million Indians who currently have insufficient or inadequate access to power. Particularly important in our conversations is the focus on clean energy and clean technology, and how we can advance our partnership in that area,” the official said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is currently in the States and had dinner with President Obama on Monday night with further talks scheduled for Tuesday. A joint vision statement released after the dinner hinted that cooperation would also include ongoing nuclear energy work.
“We will partner to ensure that both countries have affordable, clean, reliable, and diverse sources of energy, including through our efforts to bring American-origin nuclear power technologies to India,” the statement said.
India has relaxed domestic content rules after project developers claimed it was becoming difficult to procure sufficient bankable equipment. The government also rejected calls for anti-dumping duties on some overseas modules. Modi's enthusiasm for solar has been well documented. He also pledged after the election to put at least one electric lightbulb in every home in India.