By 10 November, 2010

Global Environment Fund (GEF), which is raising a $300 million fund focused on clean energy in South Asia, is getting $100 million in financing from Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC). GEF is raising South Asia Clean Energy Fund which will invest in solar, wind, hydropower, advanced biofuels and natural gas projects.

Besides, GEF is also forming an India-specific sub-fund in conjunction with the Infrastructure Development Finance Company (IDFC) and other potential Indian investors.

These initiatives were announced during the recent India visit by US President Barack Obama.

South Asia Clean Energy Fund plans to mainly invest in India, with up to a fourth of its investments in countries like Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal. GEF manages funds in areas like energy, environmental infrastructure and sustainable forestry, with approximately $1 billion in aggregate capital. The fund has been active in India making a $46.3 million investment in Greenko Group, which owns and operate renewable energy assets across the country.

GEF was also an investor in electric car maker Reva, where automobile major Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M) acquired a 55.2% stake earlier this year.

OPIC has a pipeline of nearly $300 million investments in clean energy and energy efficiency projects in India. The US government's arm recently backed solar power producer Azure Power's $40 million investment to develop a 15 MW solar PV power plant in Gujarat.

“President Obama last year challenged the United States to take bold action to increase American investment in renewable energy and clean technology, both at home and abroad,” said OPIC President and CEO Elizabeth Littlefield in a release. “This OPIC-supported investment fund is a significant down payment on the President’s challenge.

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