[INDIA] Nuclear power ventures may get overseas funding

Indian companies planning to set up nuclear power or renewable energy ventures can now look forward to offshore financing. The US, along with other G8 countries, is poised to create a $10-billion corpus for promoting clean energy in developing countries like India and China. The US, UK and Japan have committed $5 billion between themselves to this end, while the other G8 countries are likely to participate in the fund. Nuclear power and renewable energy is believed to be the answer to climate change.

“The US and other developed countries have proposed a new clean energy technology fund over the next three years to counter climate change worldwide. The US has already committed $2 billion for this cause.

The fund will be given as seed money to private sector players for setting up clean projects,” White House Council of Environment Quality chairman James L Connaughton said on Tuesday, at an event organised by Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC).

Mr Connaughton further said: “The UK and Japan have collectively contributed $3 billion. Other G8 countries are likely to participate.” The fund is aimed at encouraging deployment of all forms of cleaner and more efficient technologies in developing countries. This would help leverage local private sector capital by making clean energy projects more commercially attractive.

The White House confidante said the US has proposed to remove all tariff and non-tariff barriers to promote clean energy. The US government has also proposed $42-43 billion as long term guarantee for nuclear power projects. It plans to offer another $5 billion for research in carbon capture and carbon storage technologies, over the next five years.

India, which is a huge user of coal, will be a top beneficiary. “Three top energy companies — Coal India, NTPC and ONGC — were looking to initiate research on this. Now, we’ve learnt that the US has expanded the scope of the fund. So, there will be some modifications,” Coal India chairman Partha Bhattacharyya said. ICC senior vice-president Sanjay Budhiaa observed: “Collective action is needed now and will be critical in driving an effective and efficient response.”

Source: India Economic Times

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