Project developers in south Asia can secure cash from IRENA funding pot

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From pv magazine International.

Renewable energy developers in south Asia are among those invited by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) to register for their developing-nation generation assets to potentially secure funding.

IRENA and its partners Sustainable Energy for All and the United Nations Development Program in September announced the launch of a Climate Investment Platform (CIP) in a bid to streamline global funding for renewable energy, energy efficiency and renewables-related grid upgrade projects in the developing world. The funding stream will make finance available across 14 global regions, including south Asia, although it is not clear whether projects in India will be eligible.

The multilateral energy agency has announced the first operational phase of the CIP initiative, which was launched at the UN Climate Action Summit held in New York in September.

Open for business

The agency says it has persuaded unspecified fellow multilateral bodies to support the funding platform. At the CIP launch event, IRENA said the platform would also aim to attract support from the private sector and national governments.

The CIP program, established with the help of the multinational Green Climate Fund, is open for registrations by the developers of projects who feel their assets may be eligible for funding support.

The CIP pot aims to help governments in developing nations raise climate ambitions and introduce policy to support clean energy generation, to de-risk funding for renewables projects and to offer a marketplace to link investors with project sponsors.

The fund will operate 14 regional registers: in the Caribbean; Pacific islands; south east Europe; north, east, south, west and central Africa; central, south and southeast Asia; the Middle East; and central and South America.

How much?

On its CIP website, IRENA states $122 billion (Rs 9 lakh crore) is needed to fund 8.5 GW of new renewables generation capacity in central Africa by 2030, plus a further $54 billion to hit 23 GW in 2040. The 15 Caribbean Community member states will reportedly need 4 GW more renewables capacity at a cost of $9 billion to achieve their ambition of generating 47% of electricity from clean energy sources by 2027. Pacific island states will need $5.9 billion to develop 1.8 GW of renewables, according to IRENA, which says its Small Island Developing States Lighthouses Initiative has already driven the deployment of 85 MW of solar in 15 Pacific nations. According to the agency, the same scheme has rolled out 327 MW of solar in the Caribbean Community.

The south Asia link included in the press release issued to announce the fund, however, does not function, leaving it unclear whether IRENA considers projects in India eligible for backing under the ‘developing nation’ definition.

“Renewable energy is the most effective and ready solution to rising carbon emissions,” said Francesco La Camera, director-general of IRENA, issuing the call for project developers to join the funding platform. “Together with energy efficiency, [renewables] can deliver 90% of the emission reductions needed under the Paris Agreement but investment and deployment must increase significantly. This partnership combines the strengths of the respective organisations to deliver tailored, proactive policy and investment support to set the energy transformation on a climate-safe path.”

The CIP partners said in September clean energy would be the first ‘service line’ for investment with plans to back climate change adaptation, land use, cities and infrastructure, to follow by the end of this month.