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Working Together to Grow Clean Energy in India

India invested $7.4 billion in clean energy last year—and the U.S. saw a business opportunity. That’s why the two countries have joined forces to support clean energy projects that will improve air quality and create jobs.


When President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi meet, clean energy is a topic of conversation.

And they mean business, literally. The countries’ leaders encourage clean energy business investments in India to grow India’s economy. Modern infrastructure will boost India’s role in global manufacturing and service industries.

The U.S. India Partnership to Advance Clean Energy (PACE), launched in 2009, was re-energized in September 2014, when Prime Minister Modi and President Obama committed to expand the initiative. It has so far brought $2.4 billion in public and private investment in clean energy projects from the United States to India.


On and off the grid
More clean energy innovations are ahead, according to U.S. Ambassador Richard Verma. “I am glad to announce that USAID is finalizing a new initiative to mobilize $41 million finance for clean energy entrepreneurs. These funds will scale and sustain their businesses beyond the early stages targeted by the PACEsetter fund,” he told the India Off-Grid Energy Summit in New Delhi in August.

The PACEsetter fund aims to invigorate energy-efficiency technologies in India and is a partnership between the two countries to provide grants to support off-grid renewable energy businesses, Ambassador Verma said.

The Climate Group hosted the summit with the Indian Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.

The South Asia Network for Clean Energy, International Finance Corporation, USAID, Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation,Forum for the Future, German Society for International Cooperation, Ashden India, and Clean Energy Access Network were among other summit partners.


Promoting Energy Access through Clean Energy is a related program through which the United States solicits businesses to develop ways for off-grid communities to gain access to electricity.


Getting the capital
India Clean Energy Finance Forum and the U.S.-India Task Force on Clean Energy Finance are tools set up in February by the U.S. Embassy and India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy to promote discussion between the finance community and the Indian government. The forum seeks to raise $200 billion to accomplish India’s ambitious clean energy goals.

The task force concentrates on government-to-government collaboration to accelerate investments in clean energy. According to a recent report, clean energy investments worldwide grew 17 percent in 2014. India, at $7.4 billion, was in the top 10 of investing countries. China topped the list with $83.3 billion in renewable energy investments.


Research on smart technologies
The U.S.-India Joint Center for Building Energy Research and Development connects dozens of public and private institutions in India and the United States. This center supports innovations in solar energy, advanced biofuels and energy-efficient buildings. The initiative was recently extended another five years, and research expanded to additional areas: smart grid and grid-storage technology.

Lead collaborating institutions on solar energy at the Solar Energy Research Institute for India and the United States are the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Institutions leading advanced biofuel research are the Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, Hyderabad, and the University of Florida. CEPT University, Ahmedabad, and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory head the research on energy-efficient buildings.

 

Text courtesy climate.america.gov