German government to invest EUR 1.5 billion to aid India's solar transition

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Germany will provide more than €1.5 billion ($1.68 billion) in funding to help India maintain its solar PV development progress following a fruitful meeting on Monday between the leaders of the two nations.

Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, met the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Monday to discuss closer collaboration between the two nations at an Inter-Governmental Consultations gathering.

The first tranche of funds released by Germany will be €300 million, with a total of €1 billion ($1.12 billion) invested in India’s solar industry within five years, confirmed the German economics ministry. India will also match this level of investment, the ministry said.

Clean energy development was a key topic on the agenda, with Modi labeling Germany a "natural partner" during India’s current economic growth and clean energy revolution.

Modi said: "I admire German leadership for clean energy and commitment to climate change. This is an area where we have convergence of view."

Speaking at a joint press conference, Modi also confirmed that India has set a renewable energy target of 40% by 2030, with solar set to play a leading role in this energy transition.

India is the last leading industrial nation to confirm its energy objectives ahead of the climate change talks in Paris in December, but the ambitious goal – as reported last week by pv magazine – has been well received.

"Though India is not part of the problem, it wants to be part of the solution," said India’s environment minister Prakash Javadekar in a speech at the Major Economies Forum. "Our historical cumulative emission as of today is below 3%. Narendra Modi has also made a strong pitch for a positive agenda to tackle climate change and appealed that ‘the current climate of negativism’ is not a useful factor as we approach COP21 in Paris."

"The developed world must take moral responsibility for the state of the world today," the minister also added.