With an aim to expand Indo-US cooperation, a US agency recently announced five new partnerships in the fields of clean energy, environment and climate change to help India make the transition to a low emission and energy-secure economy. The US Agency for International Development (USAID) announced five new partnerships, four of which are with the government. The announcement was made by USAID Assistant Administrator for Asia Jonathan Stivers who was in Delhi to represent the agency at the second US-India Strategic and Commercial Dialogue.
“As part of the expansion of US-India bilateral cooperation, USAID will continue to support Ministries of power, new and renewable energy, and environment to help India transition to a high-performing, low-emission, energy-secure economy,” Stivers said. He announced the partnerships highlighting that “USAID welcomes and appreciates this historic opportunity to play a useful role in India’s path forward.”
First among these new partnerships is USAID’s commitment to work with the Bangalore power utility BESCOM and US-based company Innovari to launch the first grid integration pilot under the “Greening the Grid” (GTG) initiative. GTG is a joint initiative of USAID and the Power Ministry to strengthen India’s power grid to manage large-scale integration of renewable energy. India aims to provide 24/7 power to all Indian households by 2020 by adding and integrating 175 gigawatts of renewable energy into the national grid.
Under another partnership, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) and USAID agreed to expand their solar rooftop programme to an additional eight states and 15 utilities. “During the first phase of this programme, USAID and MNRE supported the states of Rajasthan, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh to introduce appropriate net-metering policies and regulations and provided technical assistance to the state distribution utilities implementing solar rooftop programs. “In the expanded programme, USAID will also partner with MNRE to train 5,000 utility engineers and 1,000 bankers and entrepreneurs on installation and operation best practices for solar rooftop systems,” a statement said.