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Green Finance Lab for innovative ideas launched

With India's stated intent to meet 40% of its electricity demand from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030, increasing private investment will be critical

BS Reporter  |  New Delhi 

A grid that not just powers but integrates rural India

With the need to scale up finance for green infrastructure, a new platform for financing has been launched in India, coinciding with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the UK. India Innovation Lab for Green Finance, hosted and funded by Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation, with additional financial support from the UK Government and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, will identify and develop innovative finance instruments that can unlock investment in building green infrastructure in India.

The Climate Policy Initiative in Delhi will serve as the secretariat and analytical provider for the platform that has the support of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.

With India’s stated intent to meet 40% of its electricity demand from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030, increasing private investment will be critical.

“India has strong renewable energy targets, but much more private investment is needed. There has never been a more important time for the India Innovation Lab for Green Finance, to innovate catalytic solutions to scale up finance for green infrastructure in India,” says Gireesh Shrimali, director, Climate Policy Initiative, India.

The India Innovation Lab will draw on business and government leaders to identify, select, and help implement ideas for instruments that will mitigate risks and drive more investment for clean growth in India. It will open a call for ideas on November 23, information on how to submit ideas will be available at www.greenfinancelab.in. These ideas will provide concrete solutions to the unique financing challenges to investment in green infrastructure in India. They will also address investors’ needs in order to unlock more private investment. Possible ways of doing this include credit enhancement of renewable energy projects to attract institutional investors, and tools to reduce the cost of currency hedging to attract more foreign investment.

“The India Lab will bring together public and private players on a common platform with the objective of unlocking and channelizing private investment for green infrastructure sectors such as renewable energy and energy efficiency. We look forward to being engaged in the India Lab as a key stakeholder,” said Tarun Kapoor, Joint Secretary, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.

Ideas will be assessed based on their potential to unlock investment for green infrastructure in India, and to establish that they are actionable, catalytic, innovative, and replicable. Up to four winners will be announced in February, and will receive support and expert advice from Lab members to develop and implement the ideas over the course of the next year. Subsequently, the lab will apply the successes and lessons learned through its sister initiative, the Global Innovation Lab for Climate Finance, to India’s unique challenges and opportunities.

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First Published: Fri, November 13 2015. 09:54 IST
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