The United States Agency for International Development has announced a major investment initiative to boost energy access in India.
The US Ambassador to India recently announced that the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) will invest $41 million to boost off-grid renewable energy infrastructure in India.
The investment announced by USAID is part of the clean energy agreements signed between India and the US during President Obama’s visit to India earlier this year. During the President’s visit to India, several US agencies announced funding commitments to the Indian renewable energy sector.
The US Trade and Development Agency committed an investment of $2 billion in addition to the US Export-Import Bank’s commitment to invest $1 billion in renewable energy projects. The US Export-Import Bank and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation have already made significant investments in solar power projects under India’s National Solar Mission.
In addition to the USAID’s $41 million investment, the US will also invest $8 million to set up the PACESetter Fund which will “accelerate commercialisation of innovation in off-grid clean energy solutions.”
India and the US have partnered on the Partnership to Advance Clean Energy Research (PACE-R) and Partnership to Advance Clean Energy Deployment (PACE-D) programs. These programs and investments would prove crucial for the Indian government’s target to ensure energy access for every household by 2019. Off-grid solar power projects are expected to receive special focus in this regard. Of the 100 GW solar power installed capacity envisaged by the Indian government by 2022, 40 GW would be installed through rooftop solar power systems; a large potion of this capacity is expected to come up in rural areas that lack grid connectivity.
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