Bank of India Financing India’s Solar Transition

The Bank of India has recently announced that it’s planning to offer loans to folks looking to slap some solar up on their homes or businesses.

The state-owned bank inked an MOU with the solar unit of Gautam Polymers to pony up the capital for rooftop panels and lanterns in an effort to make it easier for consumers to go solar.

Of course, this isn’t just some random altruistic endeavor. Truth is, India can’t have continued repeats of last summer’s blackout that cut power to about 600,000 people. And those in charge know that solar is one of a handful of solutions that can help alleviate the threat of future blackouts.  The Bank of India is simply capitalizing on the inevitable.

I actually discussed this back in April when I wrote. . .

“…it doesn’t hurt that India is becoming increasingly aggressive with its renewable energy policies these days…

You see, back in 2010 the government announced its National Solar Mission, which calls for 22 gigawatts of solar by 2022.

And believe me — India has plenty of reasons to embrace solar.

For one, it’s becoming harder and harder for India to secure coal supplies.

As reported in the Economist, by 2017, domestic coal production in India will meet only 73% of demand. The country’s already spent $7 billion over the past six years acquiring outside coal pits in Australia and Africa.

Of course, there are a lot of folks in India who rely on diesel-powered back-up generators, too. But with higher diesel prices, it actually costs more to run those generators compared to solar.

And this difference in cost will only grow further and further apart, as solar prices continue to fall while diesel prices continue to rise.

India is also in dire need of expanding its power portfolio to include less-pollutive sources.

Last year, India was ranked as having the world’s unhealthiest air pollution, according to a Yale study.

To make matters worse, the government set an initiative to power the entire country by 2012. This is a pretty aggressive goal considering there are more than 200 million people living without electricity…

If most of this new power is to be generated by fossil fuels, emissions could double by 2030, thereby further exacerbating India’s pollution problems.

Now it is very likely the majority of India’s power will continue to come from fossil fuels.

However, integrating more solar and wind into the mix will alleviate some of the environmental burdens that will come with explosive growth…

And that’s exactly what India’s doing.

I remain convinced that India will continue to be very aggressive in the solar space.

(Co-founder of Green Chip Stocks)

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