Obama hints at more finance for Indian solar

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The leaders of the US and India have reasserted their ongoing clean energy partnership with President Obama hinting at additional financial support during meetings in India.

The two countries pledged to expand joint research efforts and financing agreements.

Prime Minister Modi has pledged to direct US$100 billion of investment into solar with the goal of deploying 100GW by 2022.

The US Export-Import Bank has already committed to a US$1 billion loan agreement for solar in India. Obama hinted that financial assistance could be expanded.

“I’m also pleased that we agreed to a number of important steps to promote clean energy and to confront climate change. We very much support India’s ambitious goal for solar energy, and stand ready to speed this expansion with additional financing. We’re also launching new joint projects to improve air quality in Indian cities,” said President Obama in New Delhi on Sunday.

A statement by the Indian government said: “President Obama conveyed the potential availability of US Government official financing in this area, consistent with its policies, to support private sector involvement for those entities in contributing to India’s clean energy requirements.”

Last year India abandoned an an anti-dumping case against US solar equipment. That decision and the softening of domestic content rules has boosted the outlook for the market. US firms SunEdison and First Solar have already enjoyed some success in the country.

According to data published on Friday by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, India attracted US$7.9 billion of clean energy investment in 2014. BNEF estimated that it will top US$10 billion 2015. The report identified solar as the main driver behind the growth.

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