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Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Obama Offers a Billion Dollars in Financing for Indian Clean Energy

In Historic Visit To D.C., Obama Offers Indian Prime Minister $1 Billion In Financing For Clean Energy:
The governments will focus on bringing power to the 400 million Indians still without access to regular electricity by accelerating the deployment of solar technology and using policies and business models to make clean energy an appealing commercial opportunity for investors. Shortly after being elected in May, Modi announced that his government wants every home to be able to run at least one light bulb by 2019. As India pursues this goal, solar could play an important role, especially in reaching those off the grid. But coal fired-power plants are expected to make up the bulk of the power capacity increase, and the resulting emissions could make India the global GHG leader — ahead of the U.S. and China — in coming decades. "The silver lining here is that for all of Modi's efforts to squelch dissent at home over coal expansion, he really is all in on diversifying to clean energy," said Guay. "More than anything it is his demand for investment in solar that elevated climate change, and clean energy investment, to a priority in this historic meeting."
The other agreements focused on improving Indian air quality, strengthening climate resilience in the face of extreme weather like droughts and floods that have recently wreaked havoc on the subcontinent, and building energy security by reducing the country's reliance on imports.
Of course, one might question the sincerity of the Obama Administration, which had a golden opportunity to revive the economy and provide ‘too cheap to meter’ electricity back in 2009, an opportunity which was squandered by Obama's ineffectual management of the government. Has he finally learned enough to actually be a good President? Only time will tell, of course.