In another step forward for the U.S.-India Partnership to Advance Clean Energy (PACE), U.S. Ambassador to India Richard Verma announced today that up to $2 million in grants will be made available for innovative, early-stage off-grid clean energy projects in the first round of the PACEsetter Fund, a joint 50 crore rupee ($7.9 million) fund established in June by the Governments of India and the United States to accelerate the commercialization of off-grid clean energy solutions. Initial expressions of interest are due October 16; more information is available at PACEsetterFund.org.
Speaking at the inaugural of the India Off-Grid Energy Summit, Ambassador Verma also highlighted a new initiative that USAID is finalizing with the New Ventures India consortium to mobilize $41 million in finance for clean energy entrepreneurs. These funds will scale and sustain these businesses beyond the early stages targeted by the PACEsetter Fund. This partnership will help 1 million Indians gain access to electricity through off-grid clean energy solutions.
Taken together, these two announcements advance President Obama and Prime Minister Modi’s commitment to embark on a new and enhanced strategic partnership on energy security, clean energy, and climate change. They are major milestones for Promoting Energy Access through Clean Energy (PEACE), a PACE initiative focused on harnessing commercial enterprise to bring clean energy access to unserved and underserved individuals and communities.