SRI LANKA received a $100 million (£83m) line of credit (LOC) from India on Wednesday (16) for solar energy projects.
An agreement signed between the Sri Lankan government and the Export-Import Bank of India was exchanged by the high commissioner of India to Sri Lanka, Gopal Baglay, and secretary to the treasury, SR Attygalle, in the presence of Sri Lanka’s president Gotabaya Rajapaksa, on Wednesday.
“This $100m (£83m) LOC will help finance various projects in the solar energy sector in Sri Lanka, including those announced during the founding conference of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) held in March 2018, such as rooftop solar photo-voltaic systems for households and government buildings,” the Indian high commission said in a statement.
“India becomes the first country to partner Sri Lanka in fulfilling the vision of the president of Sri Lanka to ensure that 70 per cent of Sri Lanka’s national power requirements are fulfilled by renewable energy sources by 2030,” the statement added.
A total of 89 countries, including Sri Lanka, signed the framework agreement of the ISA, jointly launched by India’s prime minister Narendra Modi and former French president Francois Hollande, to bring together countries to promote solar energy and overcome challenges related to technology, finance, and capacity.
“The shared vision of our countries in the renewable energy sector reflects our common national priorities and convergence of approaches for sustainable development. Strengthening collaboration in this vital sector will help enhance our overall energy partnership and contribute towards our global efforts to tackle climate change and reduce emissions,” the statement said.
Rajapaksa said, “Sri Lanka is going green, and we are working extensively to make it happen. Steadily, we’re getting closer to the goal of 70 per cent renewable energy by 2030.”
A key plan of the government is to generate solar power by through the contribution of state-owned buildings, places of worship, and low-income family homes.
Steps will also be taken to provide facilities to store solar energy in batteries for the low-income families who are unable to access the national power grid.