India Innovation Lab kickstarts three green projects


India Innovation Lab for Green Finance members including Trilegal and Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas evaluated ideas presented by finalists to select three projects at a meeting in Delhi on 8 February. The projects seek to tackle persistent investment barriers in clean energy, low-carbon transit, and sustainable land use.

The projects for India are “The Residential Rooftop Solar Accelerator”, “Financing for Low-Carbon Auto Rickshaws” and “The Long-Term Debt Facility for Traction Batteries”.

“The India Lab provides its members with a detailed docket on the top 15 submissions,” Trilegal partner Neeraj Menon told India Business Law Journal. “The docket sets out the problem that the idea aims to address and the proposed solution, the existing barriers, the projected impact and an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the idea. We shortlisted eight ideas based on innovation, actionability, catalytic potential and financial sustainability.”

After questioning the presenters regarding regulatory hurdles, financial feasibility and implementation, the top three ideas were announced.

“As the ideas move into the instrument design phase, we, along with other Lab members, will be involved in analysing, stress-testing and developing [them] into open-access Lab instruments that may be adopted by the wider climate finance community,” said Trilegal consultant Megha Kaladharan. “We will advise on legal hurdles and review the regulatory environment for implementation of the ideas.”

The India Innovation Lab for Green Finance is a regional programme of The Lab, a public-private initiative composed of experts in sustainable investment from governments, development finance institutions, and the private sector. The India Lab was launched in November 2015 in response to the need for better investment vehicles to meet the Indian government’s ambitious target of achieving 40% of electricity generation capacity from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030.

The three instruments that the India Lab selected were part of a total of nine, which were shortlisted from over 100 ideas initially submitted for competition. The other six projects focus on green infrastructure in Sub-Saharan Africa and Brazil.