India-US clean energy partnership mobilises $1.7 billion
Washington: Reflective of the expanding Indo-US partnership in clean energy sector, India and America have managed to garner USD 1.7 billion from the private sector to finance clean energy initiatives, a top Obama Administration official has said.
"We are also expanding our bilateral cooperation on clean energy through the US-India Partnership to Advance Clean Energy, or PACE, which has mobilised over USD 1.7 billion to finance clean energy initiatives," Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Robert Blake said in his address to the CEOs attending the 4th US-India Energy Partnership Summit.
"In addition, a USD 125 million public-private joint research center is being created that will be led by 95 government, research, and private organisations. President (Barack) Obama is taking a leadership role in these efforts," Blake said.
"He recently called on Congress to establish an 'Energy Security Trust', which would fund groundbreaking research focused on cost-effective technologies - like electric vehicles, homegrown biofuels, fuel cells, and domestically- produced natural gas," the US official said.
The US, he said, is talking to India at all levels about energy issues - from the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy to the Ministry of External Affairs and the Prime Minister's Office.
"When we hold the US-India Strategic Dialogue this summer, clean energy cooperation will be a key part of the agenda," he said.
"We have much to be optimistic about. Clean energy technology is cheaper than it has ever been - according to one report photo-voltaic module prices are down 80 per cent since 2008, and 20 per cent just in the last year. In 2012 alone, a whopping 88 gigawatts of new clean energy capacity became available around the world, more than half of that from the wind sector," Blake said.
Energy and climate change issues are important not just for America's partnership with India, but for their broader strategy for the region.
"We believe that collaboration in this area can drive broader cooperation and economic connectivity, to help make the region more secure and prosperous. That's why we've been such a strong supporter of regional energy and economic integration efforts to significantly increase economic connectivity across Asia," he said.