India, U.S. reaffirm commitment to collaborate on energy

New Delhi, Mar.11: India and United States on Tuesday reaffirmed their commitment to collaborate in the field of energy, and to and promote greater technological and business innovation, scientific cooperation and research development.

Participating in the U.S.-India Energy Dialogue here, representatives of both countries also agreed to collaborate on energy development and deployment of environmentally-friendly technologies and products, open trade, and sound regulatory frameworks to deliver energy solutions for sustainable growth.

Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia hosted the government-to-government portion of the Dialogue meeting on March 11 with United States Department of Energy Secretary Dr. Ernest Moniz.

The U.S. delegation included the Department of Energy, U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA), the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Department of Commerce and State Department.

The Energy Dialogue highlights ongoing engagement in the areas of civilian nuclear energy, electrical grid and power generation cooperation, energy efficiency, oil and gas exploration and investment, expanding markets for renewable energy technologies, and addressing barriers to clean energy deployment.

Five of the six working groups affiliated with the Energy Dialogue (Coal, Oil and Gas, New Technologies and Renewable Energy, Power and Energy Efficiency, and Sustainable Growth) held meetings from March 5-10. The civil nuclear working group did not meet during the Dialogue, but will meet later in the year.

The U.S.-India Joint Clean Energy Research and Development Center updated participants on progress on their solar, advanced biofuels, and building energy efficiency research projects. The working group co-chairs presented results, goals and new initiatives for their respective working groups.

In 2009, the United States and India agreed to significantly increase collaboration on energy security and clean energy through launching the Partnership to Advance Clean Energy (PACE).

PACE, which has already mobilized significant public and private resources to support clean energy, created a new Joint Clean Energy Research and Development Center, and successfully implemented dozens of activities to accelerate the deployment of clean energy technologies, policies, and practices.

PACE brings together many agencies of the United States Government, including the Department of Energy, USAID, USTDA, Department of Commerce, U.S. Ex-Im Bank, Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), and the State Department to partner with the many Indian ministries working on clean energy research and deployment. There are three activity tracks under PACE:

PACE – Deployment: has mobilized nearly $2 billion in capital for clean energy projects in India, including the finance of 20% of Phase I projects of India’s Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission.

Under PACE-D, USAID announced that it is developing an ambitious new multi-year, multi-million dollar initiative to address the systemic costs of integrating renewable energy into the Indian power grid at a scale – a major hurdle facing utilities and project developers across India. USAID is currently examining opportunities to engage with Indian institutions – both government and private sector – to support the scale up of renewable energy which can make electricity more reliable and support economic growth.

Leveraging the expertise of other U.S. government entities and U.S.-India Energy Cooperation Program member companies, USTDA is supporting activities to promote the development of solar projects and micro-grids, the uptake of smart grid technologies by Indian utilities, and the implementation of new technologies in the refining sector.

PACE – Research: the U.S.-India Joint Clean Energy Research and Development Center has committed USD 125 million for research in solar power, advanced biofuels, and energy efficiency research.

Promoting Energy Access though Clean Energy (PEACE): Launched in September 2013, PEACE promotes increased energy access and is developing several priority activities, including formation of an Off-Grid Clean Energy Alliance and a new $8 million “PACEsetter Fund” for seed financing of innovative off-grid business models. (ANI)