Jim Yong Kim, president of the World Bank Group, speaks during a news conference in Washington, D.C., U.S. (Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)

Modi Committed To Moving India To Lower Carbon Renewable Energy Future: World Bank Chief

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has set a very ambitious target for India to reduce its carbon intensity, is committed to moving the country to a lower carbon renewable energy future, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said.

“I am very optimistic about what could happen with renewable energy (in India). The other thing that’s so important is Prime Minister Modi is very personal, very public and very strong supporter of moving India to a lower carbon renewable energy future,” Kim told reporters in a conference call ahead of the One Planet Summit in France tomorrow.

In an interaction with reporters on bank’s continuing work on climate change mitigation and its efforts at helping developing countries implement the Paris Agreement, Kim said he and the World Bank worked very closely with Modi.

“Among one of the major projects that we are putting on the table at the summit is an ultra-mega project in India for solar,” he said yesterday.

Prime Minister Modi has made a very ambitious target for India to reduce its carbon intensity. Especially in the areas of solar and hydro, India is leading. The Solar Alliance that Prime Minister Modi is spearheading has also been essential.
Jim Yong Kim, World Bank President

But there is still a lot of work to do, he observed. “I think the Indian government is very much aware of that.”

Kim said there are two most encouraging things for India.

“One is that the cost of solar and both the cost and size of battery storage is progressing so quickly. The lowest price per kilowatt hour that we've seen so far is in Mexico one point seven cents a kilowatt hour which for many countries makes solar less than half the cost of coal,” he said.

“What we’ve seen is the rapid advances in battery storage technology. So experts have said at one point that there is an actual physical limit to the size and the cost of a battery storage technology and we’ve already broken through that supposed physical limit quite aggressively.
Jim Yong Kim, World Bank President

In France, Kim would be hosting the One Planet summit with French President Emmanuel Macron and U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to mark the two-year anniversary of the signing of the Paris agreement.

“We are coming together not only to reaffirm our commitment to the agreement and to showcase some of the work taking place, but more importantly to look at ways to mobilise the scale of financing needed to create a low carbon climate resilient future for the economies of the world,” Kim said.