Obama’s visit comes amid a trade battle between India and the US at the World Trade Organization, where a dispute settlement panel has been established to hear US complaints against India’s domestic content requirements on procurement of solar cells and modules under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission programme. Photo: Reuters
Obama’s visit comes amid a trade battle between India and the US at the World Trade Organization, where a dispute settlement panel has been established to hear US complaints against India’s domestic content requirements on procurement of solar cells and modules under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission programme. Photo: Reuters

India hopes for US support for its green energy targets

India has revised its solar energy target of achieving 20,000MW of capacity by 2022 to 100,000MW

New Delhi: The Narendra Modi government is hoping to receive a US statement of support for its ambitious green energy targets during US President Barack Obama’s visit, which may help it attract more investment to fund projects to produce solar and wind power.

India has substantially revised an earlier solar energy target of achieving 20,000 megawatts (MW) of capacity by 2022 to 100,000MW. It plans to put in place 60,000MW of wind power capacity by then. Both targets would require around 10 trillion of investment if they are to be met.

“We are expecting that the US will state that they will support India’s enhanced targets for solar and wind power generation. The US government is looking for business opportunities for its companies," a government official said on condition of anonymity.

“A statement like this will help in boosting investor sentiment and confidence and may call for greater participation from the US firms and their financial institutions. We have a large funding requirement," the official added.

Obama’s visit comes amid a trade battle between India and the US at the World Trade Organization, where a dispute settlement panel has been established to hear US complaints against India’s domestic content requirements on procurement of solar cells and modules under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission programme.

India is pitching its energy sector at the World Economic Forum in Davos to the international business community for attracting investments, particularly in renewable energy.

US-based SunEdison Inc. announced last week that it plans to build a solar photovoltaic manufacturing facility in India in a joint venture with Adani Enterprises Ltd with an investment of around $4 billion.

Queries emailed to the spokespersons of the US embassy in New Delhi and India’s ministry of foreign affairs and news and renewable energy remained unanswered till press time.

India’s National Action Plan on Climate Change recommends that the country generate 10% of its power from solar, wind, hydropower and other renewable sources by 2015, and 15% by 2020.

Of India’s installed power generation capacity of 255,012.79MW, renewable power has a share of only 12.42%, or 31,692.14MW.

The US and India will seek to expand cooperation in climate change and clean energy, especially in solar and wind power, during US President Obama’s visit, Mint reported on 23 January. The plan is to widen the ambit of a 2009 memorandum of understanding (MoU) aimed at enhancing “cooperation on energy security, energy efficiency, clean energy and climate change".

The Indian government’s strategy to focus on renewables also stems from the fact that India has an energy import bill of around $150 billion, which is expected to reach $300 billion by 2030. India imports 80% of its crude oil and 18% of its natural gas requirements.

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