With India setting an ambitious target of generating 175 gigawatts of clean energy by 2022, a top US official said that India has the potential to be “a change agent” for the rest of the world in the renewable sector though the transformation process is going to be tough.
“India could really be a change agent for the rest of the world in the renewable energy sector if they get it right. So we have a vested interest in helping them get that right,” Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Transformation Melanie Nakagawa said.
And as India embarks on the USD 1 trillion project to build its infrastructure from road to ports, she said it is a great opportunity for the world, “to showcase” India as a country that gets the sustainability future right. But at the same time, she acknowledged that it is going to be tough.
“I think that there’s a story to be written there as they get closer to it but it’s going to be tough. I mean it’s going to take not just the political will, but it’s going to take the reforms and the policies needed to actually see this possible future happen,” she said.
Noting that Indian government needs USD 100 billion in investment including USD 70 billion of debt financing to meet their 175 gigawatt target by 2022, the US official said those numbers can’t be met with public finance alone. And necessary reforms are needed to attract private investment.
“India’s commitments on the 175 gigawatt renewable energy target by 2022, their commitments on solar, their commitments also in the finance infrastructure space, this all makes it a really impressive political will, signal and political will,” Nakagawa said.
India has set itself an ambitious target of generating 175 gigawatt of power by 2022 from renewable sources that includes 100 GW from solar, 60 GW from wind, 10 GW from biomass and 5 GW from small hydroelectric project.
India and the US are working closely together in this field. The US-India Clean Energy Finance Task Force which was established in September 2015 has had three meetings so far.
This is a government-to-government task force focused on clean energy investment and finance. It’s complimented by a private sector led task force called a Clean Energy Finance Forum, the which is led by Uday Kemkha and SunEdison.