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OPIC, the Government of India and Leading Foundations Announce New U.S.-India Clean Energy Finance Initiative


December 16, 2016

Delhi, India —Today, during a signing ceremony at the Taj Mahal Hotel in Delhi, the U.S.-India Clean Energy Finance (USICEF) initiative announced its formal launch. The launch of USICEF marks a critical milestone on the commitment made between the United States and Indian Governments to mobilize finance for Indian distributed clean energy projects.

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Good Energies Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the David and Lucille Packard Foundation have committed funding to USICEF to begin operations, and Climate Policy Initiative (CPI) in Delhi has been selected as secretariat for the initiative. The USICEF program helps promising distributed solar projects develop into viable candidates for financing from The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government’s development finance institution, as well other finance institutions.

USICEF will deploy up to $20 million in project preparation support, sourced equally from leading foundations and the Government of India, to distributed solar power projects under consideration for long-term financing from OPIC. This support will lay the foundation for project developers to access much-needed capital to scale up their businesses. By developing a framework for leveraging funding from development finance institutions, USICEF will also set the scene for a broader catalytic impact.

USICEF will target India’s distributed solar markets, where falling technology costs and government initiatives have created opportunities for rapid expansion, provided that renewable energy companies can overcome financing hurdles.

Santosh Vaidya, Joint Secretary at Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Government of India said, “India plans to deliver 100 GW of solar power by 2022. ICEF can help meet this goal, while also growing India’s economy by supporting the renewable energy industry from the ground up.”

“This initiative is a critical step towards increasing access to energy in underserved regions in India. The India Clean Energy Finance Initiative will support small projects with seed capital and assistance to help them grow as they then look to OPIC to work with,” said Elizabeth L. Littlefield, OPIC’s President and CEO. “This public-private partnership presents the opportunity for OPIC to finance and deploy high-impact development projects that support underserved communities throughout India to help the country meet its energy goals.”

USICEF will build on the success of the United States-Africa Clean Energy Finance Initiative (ACEF), which has deployed $20 million in grants and is on track to catalyze over $1 billion in project investment in Africa from a combination of private capital providers and OPIC.

Dr. Gireesh Shrimali, Director of CPI India, USICEF Secretariat, said: “Our analysis has shown huge potential for renewable energy companies to scale-up in India, but many lack much-needed debt capital. We are pleased to be part of this initiative that will help overcome this barrier, help this industry achieve scale, and help ensure India stays on track to realize its clean energy ambitions.”

As USICEF moves forward, interested parties can get in touch with icef@cpiclimatefinance.org for further information.

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Climate Policy Initiative (CPI) works to improve the most important energy and land use policies around the world, with a particular focus on finance. CPI has offices and programs in Brazil, Europe, India, Indonesia, and the United States.

​​​​​​​About OPIC

OPIC is the U.S. Government’s development finance institution. It mobilizes private capital to help address critical development challenges and in doing so, advances U.S. foreign policy and national security priorities. Because OPIC works with the U.S. private sector, it helps U.S. businesses gain footholds in emerging markets, catalyzing revenues, jobs and growth opportunities both at home and abroad. OPIC achieves its mission by providing investors with financing, political risk insurance, and support for private equity investment funds, when commercial funding cannot be obtained elsewhere. Established as an agency of the U.S. Government in 1971, OPIC operates on a self-sustaining basis at no net cost to American taxpayers.

All OPIC projects adhere to high environmental and social standards and respect human rights, including worker's rights. By mandating high standards, OPIC aims to raise the industry and regional standards of the countries where it funds projects. OPIC services are available for new and expanding business enterprises in more than 160 countries worldwide. For more information, visit website: www.opic.gov