Business Other News 03 Nov 2016 Centre plans $2 bill ...

Centre plans $2 billion clean fund

REUTERS | DECCAN CHRONICLE
Published Nov 3, 2016, 1:01 am IST
Updated Nov 3, 2016, 1:15 am IST
The government hopes the Clean Energy Equity Fund (CEEF) will attract pension and insurance funds from Canada and Europe.
 The government hopes the Clean Energy Equity Fund (CEEF) will attract pension and insurance funds from Canada and Europe.

New Delhi: The Indian government and three state-run firms will jointly set up an equity fund of up to $2 billion for renewable energy companies to tap into to help New Delhi meet its clean energy goals, two government sources told Reuters on Wednesday.

Private and public companies will be able to dip into an initial amount of more than $1 billion starting next fiscal year, said the sources with direct knowledge of the decision taken after a meeting of government officials more than a month ago.

The government hopes the Clean Energy Equity Fund (CEEF) will attract pension and insurance funds from Canada and Europe. Around $600 million of the initial pool will come from the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund, under the finance ministry, and the rest from state entities NTPC Ltd, Rural Electrification Corp and the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency, according to one of the sources.

Officials at the finance ministry, new and renewable energy ministry, NTPC, Rural Electrification, and Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Prime Minister has set a target of raising India’s renewable energy target to 175 GW by 2022, more than five times current usage, as part of the fight against climate change by the world’s third-biggest greenhouse gas emitter and to supply power to 1.3 billion people.

The program will depend on getting as much as $175 billion in funding with 70 percent of that likely in bank loans and the rest as equity, the sources said.

The government reckons loans are not a problem but providing equity to investors may be difficult due to uncertainties over returns, one of the sources said. India’s clean energy push was set back earlier this year when U.S. solar company SunEdison filed for bankruptcy.

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