US $ 100 mn Indian Line of Credit for solar projects in Sri Lanka

(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) – An Indian Line of Credit for US $ 100 million was announced for undertaking solar projects in Sri Lanka, which includes development of 200, 000 rooftop solar units for low income families (for US$ 50 million) and setting up of rooftop solar in Government schools and colleges, hospitals and other Government establishments in Sri Lanka (for US $ 50 million), during President Maithripala Sirisena’s visit to India, the Indian High Commission in Colombo said.

President Sirisena visited New Delhi from March 10-11 to attend the Founding Conference of the International Solar Alliance. The Founding Conference was co-chaired by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron.

President Sirisena called on Indian President Ram Nath Kovind and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the conference. He also attended the Presidential banquet hosted in Rashtrapati Bhawan on March 10 and lunch hosted by the Prime Minister on March 11 for the delegates.

The ISA Founding Conference brought together delegations from 46 countries including Heads of State and Government from 21 countries. Several UN representatives, leaders of Multilateral Development Banks, business leaders in renewable energy, members of civil society and think tanks also attended the conference. The Delhi Solar agenda was released at the conference.

Solar projects worth nearly US$ 1.4 billion in 15 countries were announced at the conference under Government of India concessional financing.

The ISA has been described by the Indian Prime Minister as the single most important global achievement after the Paris Accord on Climate Change. The first General Assembly of the ISA is expected to be held on the sidelines of the second edition of the Renewable Energy Global Investors Meet and Expo, in short REINVEST to be organized by the New and Renewable Energy Ministry of India in April.

India has offered to meet ISA Secretariat expenses for the initial five years. The Indian Government has allotted five acres of land to ISA, a campus in Gurugram, Haryana and released US$ 20 million for creating a corpus fund, building infrastructure and meeting day to day recurring expenditure. President Maithripala Sirisena attended the launch of ISA at the COP-21 in Paris on November 30, 2015. The ISA was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the then French President Francois Hollande.

The ISA is conceived as a coalition of 121 solar resource-rich countries (lying fully or partially between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn) to address their energy needs, through a common platform for collaboration, for achieving speed, scale and skills for deploying available solar technologies; facilitating strategic and collaborative solar R&D; and lowering the cost of finance for solar projects and capacity building.

A total of 62 countries have joined the ISA so far, out of which 32 countries have signed and ratified the ISA Framework Agreement. Sri Lanka became a full-fledged member of the ISA on February 12.

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