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India to power Sri Lanka with US$ 100 million to boost solar energy under ISA

India set to further promote renewable energy (Photo: IANS)

Sri Lanka has signed a deal with the Export-Import Bank of India worth $100 million to strengthen its renewable energy resources by 2030.

For Sri Lanka this is its biggest deal on renewable energy. Announcing the deal, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa tweeted: “Sri Lanka is going green, and we are working extensively to make it happen. Today, we formalized the agreement on the Line of Credit worth US$ 100M b/w Sri Lanka and the Export & Import Bank of India. Steadily, we're getting closer to the goal of 70% renewable energy by 2030.”

Damitha Kumarasinghe, Director General, Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL), told India Narrative about the country's renewables policy: "Currently, we have around 45 per cent renewable energy. Our goal is to push it to 70 per cent by 2030".

He added that among the renewables, the country is focussing on solar and wind energy. The PUCSL is the regulatory authority for the country in electricity matters.

This Line of Credit (LOC) extended by India will help finance projects like rooftop solar photo-voltaic systems for households and government buildings. Some of these projects had been announced during the Founding Conference of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) held in March 2018 in Delhi. The ISA is a coalition of solar-resource-rich countries conceived and led by India and France to improve the access of energy in the developing world.

The Indian High Commission, Colombo, said in a press statement: "India has become the first country to partner with Sri Lanka in fulfilling the vision of the President of Sri Lanka, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, to ensure that 70% of Sri Lanka’s national power requirements are fulfilled by renewable energy sources by 2030.”
The agreement between Sri Lanka and the Export and Import Bank of India was signed between the High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka, Gopal Baglay and the Secretary to the Treasury, SR Attygalle.

For India, promoting solar energy within and across the world has taken a pivotal place. India launched the National Solar Mission (NSM) on 11th January, 2010 with active participation from states to promote ecological sustainable growth along with addressing India’s energy security challenges. "It will also constitute a major contribution by India to the global effort to meet the challenges of climate change", says the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.

Within South Asia, India is taking the lead to promote a regional approach to meeting energy needs in collaboration with Bhutan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Myanmar as an energy hub.