The World Bank's groundbreaking US$1 billion loan for India's solar programme will partly focus on improving transmission for solar parks and supporting innovation in wind and energy storage hybrids, according to a senior government official.
Tarun Kapoor, joint secretary of the Ministry for New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), told Energy-Storage.News: “The loans are already identified and are at various stages of approval.”
He said these include a US$200 million loan for large-scale solar projects and innovation with wind and storage hybrids to be implemented by the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI).
There will also be a US$625 million loan for solar rooftop and US$200 million for supporting internal infrastructure in solar parks.
Another loan will be for state-owned transmission and utilities firm Power Grid Corporation to help support transmission from solar parks. This is particularly pertinent given widepsread concerns over the ability of India's transmission network to handle the expected surge in intermittent solar power coming online over the next two years.
Jasmeet Khurana, associate director, consulting, Bridge to India, recently wrote that the government needs to prioritize investments into the transmission infrastructure to proactively assuage concerns of the sector.
Energy storage has started to come to the fore as a result of these concerns, with the government announcing in February that energy storage would be tied into a major solar PV procurement for a 750MW park in Andhra Pradesh.
In a guest blog on Energy-Storage.News' sister site PV Tech today, Tim Buckley, director of energy finance studies, Australasia, Institute of Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), explains how significant the World Bank loan is for India.