FINANCING FACILITATION

In India, the Shell Foundation worked with two leading banks in India, viz. Canara Bank and Syndicate Bank, to develop renewable energy financing. This initiative helped the banks put in place an interest rate subsidy, mar­keting support and vendor qualification process. Using the wide network of their branches, the interest subsidies were made available in over 2,000 branch offices in the two states of Kerala and Karnataka. Within two and half years, the programs had financed nearly 16,000 solar home systems, and the subsidies were gradually being phased out. Whereas in 2003 all sales of PV home systems were on a cash and carry basis, by 2006, 50% of sales were financed (Usher and Touhami, 2006).

In Bangladesh, the Rural Electrification and Renewable Energy Devel­opment Project established microcredit financed facilities that resulted in the installation of over 970,000 solar-home systems (SHS) between 2003 and May 2011. Having exceeded its expectations, the program now has a target of 1 million SHS systems by 2012 (Uddin and Taplin 2008). This model has been built on the microcredit banking system pioneered by Gra – meen Bank and now adopted by numerous organizations (IDCOL 2008).

The Spanish government launched a program of low-interest loans for solar thermal applications (7-year loans with interest rates at 2%-3.5% below commercial rates) in 2003 (Institut Catala d"Energia, 2003).

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