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IFC to invest $20 mn in India's first clean energy fund Nereus

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(IFC) will invest about $20 million in Nereus India Alternative Energy Fund, a $250-million fund that would focus on renewable and clean energy companies in India. It is the country’s first fund dedicated to renewable energy.

IFC’s proposed investment comes with a cap of 20 per cent of the fund’s total commitment in companies engaged in the development, construction, and operation of renewable and clean energy power generation assets. The fund would be based in Mauritius.

According to IFC, supporting India’s first renewable energy-dedicated fund would send a positive message to the fund investment community and the growing climate fund sector. Investment in this fund would help IFC mobilise investors and address the chronic power situation in India. IFC’s global expertise in would enhance the quality of the deals in this space and having IFC as an investor and a potential co-investor would ensure strict adherence to European standards and guidelines for quality assurance at the fund and portfolio levels.

Nereus’ portfolio would comprise seven to 10 investments of $15-$35 million each in equity and equity-linked securities, focusing on the development, construction, and operation of power generation assets.

According to IFC, India is the third-largest emitter of carbon dioxide. By 2030, India’s share of global emissions is expected to increase 60 per cent — the largest expected percentage increase of any nation.

The majority of new capacity is envisioned through coal-based ultra-megawatt power plants. Hence, there is an opportunity to shift from coal-based production to one based on distributed and renewable generation and transmission of power.

Showing distributed renewable generation in the country is profitable may spur the type of widespread private sector adoption that could help alter India’s emerging carbon emissions footprint.

Thirty eight per cent of the Indian population, or around 450 million, lack access to power.

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