The US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to collaborate on the development of clean energy infrastructure in India.
Under the terms of the MoU, USAID will align components of their technical support with ADB’s existing and planned investments in renewable energy.
The initial focus of the collaboration will be on the state of Rajasthan. The parties will design and develop public-private partnership models and study options to manage grid reliability.
The USAID technical activities will help place investments of $348m by ADB for transmission infrastructure to support renewable energy deployment in western Rajasthan.
In addition, the Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Government of India, has requested ADB to provide financing up to $500m each to support rooftop solar, and expansion of the transmission network to connect solar parks in several states.
To support the Government of India’s goal of having 175GW of renewable energy installed capacity by 2022, the the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) launched a solar parks scheme to bring in new investments from project developers.
It has reduced risks, streamlined the permitting process, bought down cost via economies of scale, and modernized infrastructure for better integration of renewable energy into the grid.
The MNRE intends to set up 25 solar parks with a combined capacity to produce 20,000MW by 2020.
ADB is currently financing the development of power evacuation infrastructure for solar parks in the Indian states of Gujarat and Rajasthan.
USAID India mission director Jonathan Addleton said: "USAID and ADB have a shared interest in helping the Government of India achieve its clean energy targets.
"By aligning our technical expertise and financial resources, we can have an out-sized impact on clean energy deployment."
Image: An ADB-supported concentrated solar power plant in Rajasthan, India. Photo: courtesy of Asian Development Bank.