Indian rooftop solar sector receives $100m ADB loan

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has teamed up with the Punjab National Bank (PNB) to deliver the first $100 million tranche of loans to finance India’s fledgling rooftop solar sector.

The Solar Rooftop Investment Program (SRIP) will eventually steer $500 million into the development of residential and commercial solar installations across India via a loan finance facility guaranteed by the Indian government.

The PNB will manage the program, making small loans available to homeowners and other end users keen on embracing rooftop PV – a segment of India’s soaring solar market that is still to be properly developed.

Of the $500 million pot, ADB’s ordinary capital resources will cover $330 million, with the remaining $170 million coming via the multidonor Clean Technology Fund (CTF), which the ADB administers. This first $100 million batch is being entirely drawn from the CTF.

It is forecast that, with the addition of further private financing, the SRIP will eventually bring $1 billion into India’s rooftop solar sector, supporting the addition of 1 GW of rooftop capacity. Currently, India has slightly below 1 GW of PV installed on rooftops nationwide.

“With a sharp drop in the price of solar panels, India has a huge potential to expand its use of solar rooftop technologies,” said ADB country director in India, Kenichi Yokoyama. “The SRIP will contribute to the government’s plans to increase solar power generation capacity and also help India meet the carbon emission reduction target in line with its commitment at the recent Paris Agreement.”

Raj Kumar, the government’s joint secretary in the department of Economic Affairs in the Ministry of Finance, added that the project is “suitably aligned with the goals of government to increase the country’s solar rooftop capacity to 40 GW by 2022”.