India and France have committed more than US$2 billion to fund solar-energy projects in developing countries.
Renewable-energy analysts say that the money has the potential to dramatically expand solar technology in these nations, but others argue that governments should instead focus on removing barriers that slow the growth of renewable energy.
The announcement came on 11 March during the first summit of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) in New Delhi, which drew heads of government from more than 20 countries. In his opening address, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi pledged $1.4 billion to support solar-energy projects in Bangladesh and in developing countries in Africa. French President Emmanuel Macron committed €700 million (US$865 million) to the scheme.
“Pledges of $2-billion-plus are quite significant,” says solar-policy analyst Ashvini Kumar at the Energy and Resources Institute, a sustainable-development think-tank in New Delhi. “A number of programmes can be launched and sustained with this,” he says.