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New Delhi: India and the US have reaffirmed their focus on clean energy and have decided to set up new initiatives to raise funds and finance Indian solar projects, particularly in rural areas.
A White House statement on Tuesday mentioned “5.4 GW of new commitments from US renewable companies that are seizing the opportunity to invest in India.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Barack Obama have agreed to focus on tackling climate change, increasing energy access and promoting clean energy. It was the third bilateral summit between the two leaders.
“Both countries are committed to working together and with others to promote full implementation of the Paris Agreement. India and the United States recognize the urgency of climate change and share the goal of enabling entry into force of the Paris Agreement as early as possible. The United States reaffirms its commitment to join the Agreement as soon as possible this year. India similarly has begun its processes to work toward this shared objective,” the joint statement said.
The two nations also agreed to work together to address greenhouse gas emission from international aviation during the upcoming International Civil Aviation Organisation Assembly.
The US also backed India’s ambitious national goal of setting up 175 GW of renewable power, including 100 GW from solar power. In June 2015, Modi had increased India’s solar power target from 20,000 MW to 100,000 MW by year 2022.
The US also welcomed the launch of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) and expressed its intention to be part of it. “To strengthen ISA together, the United States and India will jointly launch the third Initiative of the ISA which will focus on off-grid solar for energy access at the founding conference of ISA in September 2016 in India,” the statement added.
To spur investment in India’s renewable energy sector, the two sides announced creation of a $20 million US-India Clean Energy Finance (USICEF) initiative, equally supported by the US and India to mobilize up to $400 million to provide clean and renewable electricity to up to one million households by 2020.
They also announced setting up of a $40 million US-India Catalytic Solar Finance Program (equally supported by US and India) that aims to provide much-needed liquidity to smaller-scale renewable energy investments, particularly in poorer, rural villages that are not connected to the grid.
To double their respective clean energy research and development (R&D) investment in five years, the two leaders announced an upcoming $30 million public-private research effort in smart grid and grid storage.
5.4 GW of new commitments from US renewable companies that are seizing the opportunity to invest in India.
Announced plans to extend cooperation on rooftop solar systems to three new Indian states
Collaboration to enhance the quality and accuracy of India’s solar resource maps and data to help developers and policymakers identify high-quality, bankable solar energy projects.
A $30 million public-private research effort in smart grid and grid storage announced.