India to set up $350 million fund to finance solar projects

Above, workers clean photovoltaic panels inside a solar power plant in Gujarat in this 2015 photo. India, which receives twice as much sunshine as European nations, wants to make solar central to its renewable expansion. (Reuters)
Updated 18 January 2018
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India to set up $350 million fund to finance solar projects

NEW DELHI: India will set up a $350 million (SR1.31 billion) fund to finance solar projects, Power Minister R.K. Singh said, as the country steps up efforts to achieve its ambitious target of adding 175 gigawatts (GW) in renewable energy by 2022.
India will need at least $125 billion to fund a plan to increase the share of renewable power supply in the country’s grid by 2022, underlining the immense financing challenge ahead.
The country, which receives twice as much sunshine as European nations, wants to make solar central to its renewable expansion. It expects renewable energy to make up 40 percent of installed power capacity by 2030, compared with 18.2 percent at the end of 2017.
“The country would achieve its target of 175 GW of installed renewable energy capacity well before 2020,” Singh said on Wednesday at an event organized by the International Solar Alliance (ISA) in Abu Dhabi.
Installed renewable power capacity is currently about 60 GW, and India plans to complete the bidding process by the end of 2019/20 to add a further 115 GW of installed renewable energy capacity by 2022.
India’s Yes Bank has committed to financing solar projects worth $5 billion, while state-run NTPC will contribute $1 million to an ISA fund, the power ministry said in a statement.
India wants foreign capital to account for a bulk of its investments to meet its renewable energy target.
But industry experts say most of the financing for the country’s renewables drive so far has come from domestic banks and such banks have to account for the lion’s share of new renewable investments in the future.


Iran anti-money laundering law faces challenge as deadline looms

Updated 18 August 2018
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Iran anti-money laundering law faces challenge as deadline looms

  • Iran has been trying to implement standards set by the Financial Action Task Force
  • Foreign businesses say legislation that includes FATF guidelines is essential if they are to increase investment

DUBAI: A top Iranian constitutional body has demanded changes to anti-money laundering measures passed by parliament, state-run media said on Saturday, as Tehran nears a deadline to pass legislation to help it attract investment while facing USsanctions.
Iran has been trying to implement standards set by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an inter-governmental organization which underpins regimes combatting money laundering and terrorist financing. It hopes it will be removed from a blacklist that makes some foreign investors reluctant to deal with it.
In June, FATF said Iran had until October to complete the reforms or face consequences that could further deter investors from the country, which has already been hit by the return of US sanctions. {nL5N1UY39D]
Hard-liners in parliament have opposed legislation aimed at moving toward compliance with FATF standards, arguing it could hamper Iranian financial support for allies such as Lebanon’s Hezbollah, which the United States has classified as a terrorist organization.
The Guardian Council, which vets legislation passed by parliament for compliance with the constitution, objected to four items in the anti-money laundering amendments and returned the measure to parliament, spokesman Abbas Ali Kadkhodaei was quoted by the judiciary’s news agency Mizan as saying.
Kadkhodaei did not give details of the four items, according to Mizan.
Earlier this month, the Guardian Council approved legal amendments on combating the funding of terrorism.
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in June parliament should pass legislation to combat money laundering according to its own criteria.
Foreign businesses say legislation that includes FATF guidelines is essential if they are to increase investment.