To expand the Indo-US cooperation in clean energy, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) announced on Wednesday four new partnerships with the Indian government.
First among these new partnerships, is USAID's commitment to work with the Bangalore power utility and US based company -- Innovari, to launch the first grid integration pilot under the "Greening the Grid" (GTG) initiative that that will strengthen India's power grid and manage large-scale integration of renewable energy.
"USAID welcomes and appreciates this historic opportunity to play a useful role in India's path forward," the USAID Assistant Administrator for Asia, Jonathan Stivers said after announcing the partnerships in a series of events, here recently.
"As part of the expansion of Indo-US bilateral cooperation, USAID will continue to support the Ministry of Power, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, and the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change to help India transition to a high-performing, low-emission, energy-secure economy," Stivers said.
Under the next 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.
"In the expanded programme, USAID will also partner with MNRE to train 5,000 utility engineers, 1,000 bankers and entrepreneurs on installation and operation of best practices for solar rooftop systems," Stivers said.
In support of efficient energy usage, USAID also announced a partnership with the Ministry's public sector energy efficiency company -- Energy Efficiency Services Limited, to transform India's markets for super-efficient air conditioners.
To improve urban air quality through energy efficiency, USAID is partnering with the University of Chicago to support the efforts of the Government of India and Gujarat State Pollution Control Board to pilot a market instrument designed to reduce costs for industrial plants to comply with regulatory limits on emissions, and to provide incentives encouraging emission reductions.
During the two countries' "Joint Working Group on Combating Climate Change", USAID announced its collaboration with the Forest Survey of India (FSI) under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, to strengthen the latter's capacity to predict forest fires and use high-resolution satellite imagery for forest resource assessment, and develop protocols for strengthening forest inventory.
This initiative will mobilise the scientific expertise of the US Forest Service.
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 programmes.
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