IUKDPF Analysis: India’s Concessional Financing of Solar Projects Overseas: Breakdown and Analysis

In this IUKDPF Analysis paper, Dr. Jonathan Balls examines India’s historic and planned concessional financing of solar projects internationally.

Executive summary

  • Data from India’s EXIM Bank and Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) shows India scaling up its commitments to finance solar projects. 
  • India’s concessional financing of solar is oriented towards West Africa and South Asia, in the number and value of LOCs. 
  • Financing shows a continuing focus on off-grid and small-scale solar, which India’s track record of financing transmission and electrification projects make it well placed to deliver; but also, a recent reorientation to financing large-scale solar parks, which will be more challenging to realise. 
  • Although the Modi government clearly wants to utilise the long-running Indian Development and Economic Assistance Scheme (IDEAS) to support its agenda for the ISA, to date there has been limited alignment. 
  • A lack of detailed reporting prevents substantive assessment of the ‘success’ (or not) of India’s concessional financing of solar in terms of: a) the signing-off and timely implementation of well-constructed projects, and b) projects that deliver sustainable and inclusive energy for partners, invest in technology and knowledge transfer, and contribute to just energy transformations.