The Indian government needs to increase the access to electricity of a growing population and economy taking into account major environmental and health related challenges, rapidly changing technologies, social and cultural preferences and international commitments. Such an increased access calls for substantial investment, and hence India has been gradually liberalising the electricity sector since 1991. This paper addresses the question: What are the opportunities for accessing the foreign funding available to India and how can it use this funding to modernise its electricity sector in a sustainable manner? Based on a two year research programme, this paper examines the international institutional context and draws conclusions regarding the different mechanisms for India and the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats facing India. It argues that since foreign funding is flowing into the country with enhanced liberalisation, the climate change mechanisms should be used to steer electricity generation in a sustainable direction, and aid funds, should be used to focus on access for the rural poor to energy.