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ADB to fund millions of energy-efficient lights, pumps in India

Staff Writer |
A new $200 million Asian Development Bank (ADB) loan will finance installation of millions of energy-efficient lights in streets and homes and energy-efficient water pumps in farms across India.

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This would lead to energy savings of around 3,800 gigawatt-hours per year, equivalent to the annual output of two 300-megawatt coal-fired power stations.

ADB will provide the funds to Energy Efficiency Services Ltd. (EESL), a joint venture between four public sector bodies - the National Thermal Power Corporation, Powergrid Corporation of India, Power Finance Corporation, and Rural Electrification Corporation - established in 2009.

EESL will use the ADB funds, alongside another $200 million of its own, to finance energy service activities, which often have trouble accessing commercial finance for energy-saving projects.

EESL will make loans available for installing light-emitting diode (LED) municipal streetlights, energy-efficient domestic lights and fans, and energy-efficient agriculture water pumps.

The entire $400 million project will install 1.5 million LED street lamps, 42 million LED household lamps, ceiling fans and LED tube lights, and 225,000 new pumps.

Lending will be made available in Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Telangana, and Uttar Pradesh, as well as other states going forward.

ADB hopes the success of these subprojects will attract more investment into energy efficiency. EESL has an ambitious longer-term target of installing 4.5 million streetlights, 700 million LED bulbs, and 6 million energy-efficient pumps by 2020 that would require investment of more than $12 billion.

Under the recently agreed Paris climate agreement, India has committed to cutting the energy intensity of its economy by 33% from 2005 levels by 2030.

A recent ADB study estimated that achieving an intermediate reduction of at least 20% by 2020 would require investing about $68 billion in energy efficiency measures in India alone.

The Indian government's National Mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency has already launched several initiatives to enhance energy efficiency in energy intensive businesses and hopes to unlock the market for energy efficiency projects that is estimated at more than $11 billion or Rs740 billion.

Using more LED lights and fans in homes and institutions will mean energy savings of 80%, LED streetlights bring savings of 50%, and efficient water pumps will save 30% of energy.

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