Recognizing the strategic importance of energy access and security, and building on our partnership under the U.S.-India Energy Dialogue, the United States and India continue to expand energy cooperation and exchange best practices. Acknowledging the significant risks climate change and environmental health pose to both countries, the United States and India are also furthering cooperation on addressing, mitigating, and adapting to the effects climate change. Together, our two countries are working to diversify and expand energy resources, promote energy efficiency, and address the global concerns of climate change.
- U.S.-India Energy Dialogue: The United States and India held the Energy Dialogue in March 2014 in New Delhi. The Working Groups for Coal; Oil and Gas; New Technologies and Renewable Energy; and Power and Energy Efficiency addressed cooperation in electrical grid and power generation, energy efficiency, oil and gas exploration and investment, expanding markets for renewable energy technologies, and addressing barriers to clean energy deployment. The two sides inaugurated a new Working Group for Sustainable Growth, which has since held three workshops. The first was held on the sidelines of the Energy Dialogue in March with a focus on geospatial analysis of renewable energy options. The other two workshops on energy data management and energy modeling were held in April. All workshops were attended by the Government of India’s Planning Commission and other Indian ministries, representatives of India’s private sector, and U.S. researchers from the Department of Energy laboratories. The Civil Nuclear Energy Working Group met at Idaho National Laboratory in July 2014 to review ongoing technical cooperation and set milestones for collaboration in the coming year.
- U.S.-India Partnership to Advance Clean Energy (PACE): Launched in 2009, PACE brings together seven U.S. government agencies to partner with India on a broad range of clean energy research and deployment activities. Since its inception, PACE has mobilized more than $2 billion in public and private clean energy finance to support India’s clean energy goals, including support for 20% of India’s first 1,000 megawatts of installed solar energy capacity. Under PACE’s $125 million Joint Clean Energy Research and Development Center, three consortia are now in their second year of cutting-edge research on solar energy, building energy efficiency, and advanced biofuels. In addition, the $20-million PACE-D Technical Assistance Program is supporting multiple activities at the national and state levels on renewable energy, energy efficiency, finance, and cleaner fossil energy.
- Promoting Energy Access through Clean Energy (PEACE): The newest component of PACE is the PEACE initiative, launched by the Governments of India and the United States in September 2013 to harness commercial enterprise to bring clean energy access to unserved and underserved Indian villages. During the March 2014 Energy Dialogue, the two governments finalized a Plan of Activities for PEACE, announcing their intent to jointly provide $8 million to a new “PACEsetter Fund” to support the development of early-stage, innovative off-grid clean energy solutions. In July, USAID announced the creation of a Clean Energy Access Network (CLEAN), a new alliance of businesses, not-for-profit organizations, and government to strengthen India’s ecosystem in support of market-driven approaches to energy access. CLEAN will deliver a range of services for off-grid clean energy suppliers and consumers in order to reduce operational barriers, provide a platform for policy dialogue, mobilize finance, and accelerate innovation.
- Off-Grid Alliance: The United States and India agreed to launch the Off-Grid Alliance, a central component of the PEACE initiative. The Off-Grid Alliance will deliver services in five areas: (1) access to finance; (2) skills and training; (3) testing and certification of technology; (4) policy dialogue and advocacy; and (5) network and exchange of lessons learned.
- Space Cooling Collaboration: Also part of PACE, the U.S.-India Cooling Collaboration on Smart and Efficient Air Conditioning and Space Cooling was launched at the June 2013 Strategic Dialogue. India’s Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) and the U.S. Department of Energy organized a two-day workshop in New Delhi attended by over one hundred domestic and international experts to address India’s rapidly growing electricity demand from air conditioners. The workshop was organized in collaboration with the Clean Energy Ministerial’s Super-efficient Equipment and Appliance Deployment (SEAD) and 21st Century Power Partnership initiatives.
- GETCO Renewable Power Integration Project: Under the U.S.-India Energy Cooperation Program, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) and the Gujarat Energy Transmission Corporation Limited (GETCO) announced a partnership to support GETCO in managing the integration of increasing amounts of wind and solar power generation into its bulk power transmission system. The project, to be carried out by Quanta Technology, LLC, will ensure load balancing and frequency regulation for transmission operations as new and renewable power generation is brought online. Both the ECP and this project with GETCO are part of the PACE initiative.
- Climate Change Working Group: The first meeting of the U.S.-India Climate Change Working Group was held July 30 on the margins of the Strategic Dialogue. The group discussed how best to: achieve an ambitious multilateral global agreement on climate change in Paris in 2015 for the post-2020 period; promote existing and new cooperation on clean energy, smart grid, and energy efficiency; increase cooperation on adaptation and resiliency to climate change; and increase cooperation on sustainable forestry and Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+). The group also continued discussions on phasing down hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), and discussed other areas of potential joint work, including air quality monitoring and improving environmental health.
- Ocean and Atmospheric Collaboration: The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and India’s Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) have maintained a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) since 2008. Through this agreement the science agencies have executed numerous projects covering a range of collaborative research, including a buoy array operation in the Indian Ocean for ocean and climate monitoring, tropical cyclone modeling, weather and monsoon forecasting, marine fisheries and harmful algal blooms.
- Forest Resource Management Innovation Projects and Forest Carbon Analysis Initiative: Reducing forest degradation is a key objective of the U.S. Government’s climate change partnership with India. USAID recently made four new awards to Indian organizations to implement innovative solutions in the forestry sector under the priority areas of: (1) supporting innovations for fuel wood management; (2) strengthening systems for forest resources management; and (3) increasing income of forest dependent communities. These projects contribute to USAID’s broader goal of improving the lives of people who live at the base of the economic pyramid in India by supporting innovations at the interface of climate change, forest degradation, and forest-dependent communities. In addition, USAID is supporting a new initiative to strengthen India’s efforts to monitor forest carbon emissions and carbon sequestration, design and implement improved forest management programs, and ultimately participate in international mechanisms such as Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+).