European Interest

Macron pledges millions for new solar projects

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To promote greater investment in renewable energy, hundreds of millions of euros will be invested in solar projects in developing countries, according to French President Emmanuel Macron who met with world leaders in India on March 11.

Macron, who in December warned that the global shift to a green energy future was too slow, said France would extend an extra €700m through loans and donations by 2022 for solar projects in emerging economies.

As reported by the Agence France-Presse (AFP), France has already committed €300m to the initiative when it co-founded with India a global alliance in 2015 to unlock new cash for solar projects in sunny yet poor nations.

“We need to remove all obstacles and scale up,” Macron said at the launch of the International Solar Alliance in New Delhi on March 11.

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi said it was vital that nations were not priced out.

“We have to make sure that a better and cost effective solar technology is available to all,” Modi told the gathering of investors and world leaders from about 20 mainly African nations.

“We will have to increase solar in our energy mix.”

India, the world’s third-largest polluter, is undergoing spectacular growth in its solar sector and is on track to become one of the world’s largest clean energy markets, reported AFP.

It pledged at the Paris climate summit in 2015 to source at least 40% of its energy from renewables by 2030, mainly via solar.

Macron and Modi hope the alliance will spur $1 trillion in new solar spending by 2030 in 121 countries lacking investment in the sector.

As reported by the EFE news agency, Macron, who would be in India until March 12, also highlighted the importance of economic collaboration between the countries, particularly in building infrastructure like railway lines.

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