Remarks by Ambassador Kenneth I. Juster at the PACESetter Awards

Secretary Anand Kumar, Additional Secretary Parveen Kumar, Joint Secretary Amitesh Kumar Sinha, Representatives from the Government of India, Awardees, and Distinguished Guests:  I would like to thank the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy for its warm and gracious hospitality today.

Secretary Kumar and his team deserve enormous credit for the gains that India has made in deploying clean energy projects across the country.  Today, India has over 82 gigawatts of installed power that is derived from renewable energy sources, with more on the way.

Universal energy access is crucial for improving living standards and for economic development more broadly.  In the context of the United States, as late as 1930, only one in ten rural Americans had access to electricity.  Our ability to rapidly increase power generation and grow the electrical grid became a major pillar in my nation’s development, and laid the foundation for decades of strong economic growth and significant wealth creation.  

As India’s economy grows, it will continue to be a major consumer of energy.  Indeed, India is expected to account for one quarter of the growth in global energy demand by 2040.  With these numbers, ensuring access to energy will be a major priority – as well as a major challenge.  However, innovations in off-grid and clean energy, including the projects we are recognizing today, will help expand access to energy across India.

Today in India, we see the deployment of off-grid, clean energy technologies, combined with innovative financing models and market-based solutions, as agents of change.  Through these and other initiatives, India is quickly expanding reliable electricity access to Indian citizens, improving living standards, and expanding economic opportunities for all.  Indeed, your country is particularly adept at creating and adapting technologies that are applicable in low resource environments.

In support of these efforts, the Governments of India and the United States established four years ago the PACESetter Fund, which we jointly finance.  As you know, and as we witnessed today, the Fund provides early-stage grant money to accelerate the commercialization in India of innovative off-grid, clean energy products and systems.

I have very much enjoyed learning about the projects that have received awards today, and how they are furthering India’s long-term energy goals.  I look forward to hearing updates on these projects.  I congratulate you.  And I wish all of you great success.

Thank you.