India to launch green tech venture fund

Just last week I wrote that the Indian Prime Minister’s Council approved in principle a 1 trillion rupees ($21 billion) Solar Mission over a 5-year period ending March 2012 to make India a global leader in solar power.

Now, according to EETimes report on 14 Aug 2009, the Indian government plans to launch a venture fund to promote green technology research. This fund is separate from the government’s 2007 plan to subsidize new companies to manufacture solar cells and panels.

The size of the fund and other specifics will be determined by the National Mission on Strategic Knowledge for Climate Change (NMSKCC). NMSKCC, which is currently preparing a mission document with milestones for promoting green technologies, will identify and designate key institutes to be centers of excellence in climate research.

The India Semiconductor Association (ISA) praised the government’s green technology plan. “The clean tech sector has seen huge interest from venture funds and private equity investors globally. This is the right time that this is happening in India.” said ISA President Poornima Shenoy. Earlier in the week, NXP Semiconductors agreed to provide electronics components for the manufacturing operations at Tata BP Solar.

Comment: To add on to the earlier blog, there is currently no funding for the $21 billion Solar Mission and India expects the West to fund its solar energy plan. Guardian argues that India should not rely on the West for funding if India is genuinely wants to meet the challenge of climate change. To me, it’s mind boggling that one should announce a $21 billion plan without any confirmed funding (or is there?). In this new green tech venture fund, its source and size of funding is not known yet. We’ll just have to wait for the details.

Sources:
India to launch green tech venture fund (EETimes)
India to go toe-to-toe with cleantech VCs (Cleantech Group)
India shouldn’t rely on the west to fund its solar energy plan (Guardian)

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