Last Modified June 16, 2021 8:22 am
pv magazine has taken part in a webinar examining the thorny issue of financing clean energy generation in developing markets.
Two India-led institutions hosted a webinar to examine the question of how to finance utility scale renewables in emerging economies.
Participants considered policy and regulatory challenges, as well as solar financing constraints, at an event organised by the Gurugram-based International Solar Alliance (ISA) alongside the Centre for Energy Finance section of Delhi-based research non-profit the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW).
Panelists at Wednesday’s event proposed financial interventions to accelerate renewables investment, emphasizing the measures necessary to attract and scale-up capital flows in developing markets.
Upendra Tripathy, director-general of the ISA – whose membership consists of 121 tropical nations – pointed to three obstacles to financing clean power in emerging markets which the organization is addressing: land and labor, capital and technology.
The membership body – which delivered the webinar as part of its Solar Technology and Application Resources Centers project – is mapping pockets of land suitable for large scale solar and attempting to head off land access rights issues at an early stage. Tripathy said the ISA is also establishing a community-engagement framework to avoid land-related conflicts and is attempting to train workers in solar project construction and maintenance.
The director-general also highlighted the reluctance of offshore investors to commit to clean power in emerging markets because of challenges such as local currency and exchange rate risks.
The organization also advocates the adoption of affordable public-domain technologies to drive solar deployment, according to Tripathy.
In the absence of fully-subsidized small scale solar applications, Tripathy pointed to the potential effectiveness of aggregating groups of clean power consumers – ideally living in close proximity – and presenting them as single investment opportunities to solar installers and investors, as a means of driving down the price of installations.
Arjun Dutt, senior analyst at the CEEW Center for Energy Finance, said solar projects in India, Indonesia and Sri Lanka suffer from varying degrees of the same hurdles to investment, with India showing the way for its Asian peers in how to deal with obstacles such as a lack of predictable development pipelines; inaccurate assessments of demand; and the inadequate scale of domestic capital available to invest, plus its associated finance costs.