US envoy launches Partnership to Advance Clean Energy - Deployment in India
New Delhi, July 31 (ANI): Launching the United States-India Clean Energy Program: Partnership to Advance Clean Energy - Deployment (PACE-D) here today, U.S. Ambassador to India Nancy J. Powell said the United States Government has had a long and successful strategic partnership with India in the energy sector.
"Over the last 15 years, a USAID program has helped India avoid about 100 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions and also reduce coal consumption by 78 million tons, resulting in savings of approximately U.S. $1.5 billion," said Powell.
"If our longstanding cooperation in energy is any indication, I firmly believe the partnership between the United States and India will deepen further in every sense in the coming years. It is my privilege to have been entrusted by President Obama and Secretary Clinton, with the job of fostering our partnership," she added.
"The interactions between our two countries at all levels are staggering in their breadth and depth and include critical global challenges like food security, health, and-as we are here to talk about today-energy and climate change," Powell said.
Describing climate change and energy security as the two most critical global challenges of the 21st century, and emphasizing on the fact that with India's energy consumption growing at over seven percent annually, Powell said the country faced formidable challenges in meeting its energy demands.
"India needs to find a way to improve the reliability and adequacy of energy supplies while making modern energy services accessible and affordable to the entire population. Such energy security concerns prompted the United States and India to launch the first Energy Dialogue in 2005 to identify mutually beneficial initiatives that complement Indian and U.S. development, security, and economic interests," Powell said.
The American envoy said that one of the significant outcomes of the US-India bilateral energy dialogue is the Partnership to Advance Clean Energy, or "PACE," which was launched by President Obama and Prime Minister Singh in November 2009.
She said that over the past two-and-a-half-years, PACE has mobilized government and private sector resources from both countries to improve energy access and promote low carbon growth.
PACE has two primary, interlinked components, a research component, known as PACE-R, led by the U.S. Department of Energy; and a deployment component, known as PACE-D, led by USAID.
PACE-R works to improve energy access and promote low-carbon growth through research and development. In May 2011, the United States and India established a Joint Clean Energy Research and Development Center that will mobilize 50 million dollars from the U.S. Department of Energy and the Government of India.
A consortium of U.S. and Indian researchers has also pledged 75 million dollars for a total of 125 million dollars that will go towards research and development.
Research will focus on transformational scientific and technological cooperation in the areas of building efficiency, solar energy, and advanced bio-fuels.
The five-year 20 million dollars PACE-D contract will help India transit to a high performing, low emissions, and energy secure economy.
PACE-D will work to create an environment that strengthens institutions; increases the availability of innovative financing mechanisms; and enhances local capacity to propagate clean energy solutions.
PACE-D will also improve access to energy through renewable sources. In India, the use of renewable energy resources has grown, but there is still great untapped renewable energy potential.
Ambassador Powell informed that the contract to implement the PACE-D program has been awarded to the American consulting firm Nexant, Inc, a well-established provider of intelligent grid software and clean energy solutions.
Nexant is headquartered in San Francisco, California and has 31 offices around the world. (ANI)
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