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Web Exclusive | April 2013

Easier access to funds for solar sector is needed: FICCI

Industry body Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Ficci) has suggested the government that a separate window, under the National Clean Energy Fund (NCEF), should be created to give a boost to domestic solar energy projects and to provide easy access to finance for such clean energy technology, a Ficci statement said.

Ficci, in a White Paper on reducing the cost of finance for solar energy projects through the National Clean Energy Fund (NCEF), has suggested creation of a separate window under the Fund to enable easier access to funds. The White Paper was released this week and submitted to the government for consideration. The National Clean Energy Fund, which was announced in the budget 2011-12, is a step for funding research and innovative projects in clean energy technology.

The White Paper also suggests innovative models for sharing and distribution of risk and cost of financing through NCEF as the cost of financing from the domestic Financial Institutions is high. Given the challenges faced by the solar industry in India due to the high cost of finance, the government's decision to extend an interest subsidy from the National Clean Energy Fund for enabling lowering the cost of finance for renewable energy projects is a commendable step, the statement said.

It will help provide a much-needed boost to the renewable energy sector in the country. The paper recommends that the interest subsidy be made available for eligible projects and routed through the lenders to such projects so that borrowers would get lower interest rates for the loans while the lenders directly receive the subsidy.

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