Indian banks and financial institutions (FIs) are “losing a lot” by not financing renewable energy projects in India, said Union Energy Minister RK Singh.
The minister said he would urge the Finance Ministry to grant loans to renewable energy projects under the category of ‘priority sector loans’.
Singh said this while speaking at a session on ‘green finance’ at the 14th Clean Energy Ministerial Conference (CEM 14) currently underway here.
Noting that, except for the two public sector lenders (PFC and REC), Indian financiers have lent very little to the Indian renewable energy sector, the minister said the financiers are “missing out on the biggest market” in the world.
India would add 50 GW of renewable power capacity each year, he said, adding: “It will remain the biggest market” for many years to come.
In addition to renewable energy, there are loan opportunities for the manufacture of solar modules and electrolyzers, he added.
India would also export modules and electrolysers, Singh said, noting that many countries were wary of buying from China.
The minister stressed that he never had to worry about financing because enough money came from abroad for renewable energy projects.
“My sector is booming,” he said.
On the financing of renewable energy under the ‘priority sector’, Singh said, “we (the renewable energy sector) are the ‘priority’.”
Speaking earlier in the session, former Union Energy Secretary Alok Kumar, who recently resigned, also noted that the share of Indian public sector banks in renewable energy financing is “small” and said the Reserve Bank of India should “push” banks to lend more to Indian renewable energy projects.
However, this would require renewable energy companies to follow stricter disclosure rules, Kumar said.