U.S.-India Partnership to Advance Clean Energy, Energy Security and Climate Change
Minister of External Affairs S.M. Krishna and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton reaffirmed their countries’ strong commitment to continue ongoing efforts to address climate change, ensure mutual energy security, and build a clean energy economy that will drive investment, job creation, and economic growth throughout the 21st century, including through implementing the 2009 U.S.-India MOU on energy and climate change.
PACE- Research Efforts: The U.S.-India Partnership to Advance Clean Energy (PACE) improves energy access and promotes low-carbon growth through the research and deployment of clean energy technologies. The United States and India issued in May 2011 a funding opportunity announcement to establish a Joint Clean Energy Research and Development Center that will mobilize $25 million of Department of Energy funding over five years for research and development focused on transformational scientific and technological cooperation on building efficiency, solar energy and advanced biofuels.
PACE-Deployment Grants: The U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) have assisted India in accelerating the transition to a high performing, low emissions and energy secure economy. In addition, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) have made grant commitments for new Smart Grid and solar pilot projects, and USTDA has provided funding support for the U.S.-India Energy Cooperation Program that works with the Indian business community to accelerate the deployment of clean energy technologies. The U.S. Department of Commerce will facilitate expanded trade and commercial partnerships in clean technology products through the trade mission it will take to India in November 2011.
PACE-Deployment Finance and Risk Insurance: The United States and India anticipate financing and risk insurance support of hundreds of millions of dollars towards clean energy projects that target India. The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) recently approved two new private equity funds, which plan to invest $600 million in the Asian renewable and clean tech sectors, of which approximately $350 million will target Indian hydro, biomass, wind, and solar power projects. This follows the approval of a $300 million South Asia Clean Energy Fund by OPIC, nearly all of which will target India. In addition to more than $520 million of financing and insurance that OPIC expects to commit for Indian solar projects by end-2011. The Export-Import Bank has also financed $75 million worth of solar power generating projects in India and is considering loans worth an additional $500 million to support India's growing solar infrastructure. Similarly, the USTDA is evaluating assistance for a growing portfolio of clean energy projects to support PACE.
Energy Security: The Energy Dialogue Steering Committee reviewed progress on the numerous PACE initiatives, ongoing Energy Dialogue activities and explored new areas of clean energy collaboration. In addition, the United States and India reiterated the need for continued diplomatic efforts towards the establishment of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India pipeline both for improved energy security in the subcontinent and the relatively clean energy natural gas would provide. Both countries will continue to work together to advance energy security and help ensure secure, reliable, and affordable energy supplies.
Collaboration on Climate Activities: The United States and India continue to collaborate on reducing short-lived climate forcers through efforts such as the Global Methane Initiative, the U.S-India Task Force on HFCs, and our respective domestic black carbon research initiatives. These pollutants have disproportionate short-term impacts on the climate and cause adverse health and environmental effects at the local and regional scale. U.S. and Indian leaders also discussed the upcoming 17th Conference of Parties under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Durban, South Africa, and reaffirmed their intention to work together toward making operational agreements reached in Cancun, Mexico. The two countries underscored their commitment to focus their collaborative work on issues of common importance, including clean technology, adaptation, and transparency.