With several industries, households, and commercial establishments evincing interest in solar energy, banks are offering loans for small-scale solar projects.
For instance, Canara Bank is offering loans to job working power loom units that want to establish solar systems. Some banks offer special loan schemes for solar projects and some others extend loan as they regularly do for the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) sector. One of the bankers said that there were several enquiries from the MSME sector.
The State Government has come out with a solar policy and the Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy provides subsidy for solar projects. Since the district suffered long hours of power cut till a few weeks ago, the industries and commercial establishments are looking at tapping solar power.
R. Ramachandran, president of the Coimbatore District Small Industries’ Association, said banks should create awareness among the MSME sector on the loan schemes.They should extend the loan at special interest rates. The regular interest rate hovered between 12.75 per cent and 15.25 per cent for these units. Loans should be offered at 10 per cent or 11 per cent for solar projects. The MSMEs would go for solar projects only when loans are offered at lower interest rate, he said.