Indian lenders channeled more funds to clean energy projects compared to coal-based ones for a third straight year in 2020 with more expected to flow into the renewables sector in the coming years after Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled ambitious goals last month for cutting emissions.
Clean energy projects got 74% of the total funds from financial institutions last year, or 243.8 billion rupees ($3 billion), according to a report by New Delhi-based research organizations Climate Trends and Centre for Financial Accountability. That’s a 6% rise from 2019 approvals for clean energy projects of about 229.71 billion rupees in 2019.
Just 85.2 billion rupees, or 26% of the 2020 funds from Indian lenders went to coal-fired plants, data from the report showed. This represents an 86% slump in approvals for coal plants since 2017 and is in line with declining availability of funds globally for fossil-fuel projects.
This trend is expected to continue after Modi announced India’s plan for net zero emissions by 2070 at COP26. Modi also raised India’s 2030 target for low-emission energy capacity to 500 gigawatt from 450 GW and to wants the country to generate half its electricity using renewable energy.