Solar power bolstered by $1 billion World Bank loan

New Delhi — The World Bank has signed an agreement with the International Solar Alliance to boost solar energy in developing countries, with the hope of mobilizing much greater investments by 2030.

The agreement, signed by World Bank President Jim Yong Kim and Indian Power Minister Piyush Goyal, established the World Bank as a financial partner of the alliance.

The alliance was launched by India and France at the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Paris last November and includes about 120 countries that support the promotion of solar energy.

The United States has welcomed the launch of the alliance and “recognizes the critical role it can play in the development and deployment of solar power,” the White House said in June in advance of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the U.S.  The U.S. and India have formed a special partnership on climate issues.

The World Bank plans to provide more than $1 billion to support India’s initiatives to expand solar power generation through projects including solar rooftop technology, infrastructure for solar parks and transmission lines for solar-rich states.

“India’s plans to virtually triple the share of renewable energy by 2030 will both transform the country’s energy supply and have far-reaching global implications in the fight against climate change,” Kim said in the statement.

The World Bank and the Indian government also signed an agreement for a $625 million loan to finance the installation of at least 400 megawatts of solar panels that will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by displacing thermal generation.