USAID, MNRE announce new partnership to expand clean energy development

The US Agency for International Development (USAID) and India’s ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE) have announced the launch of a new partnership to increase India- US collaboration for clean energy development.

Under the partnership, the USAID-supported South Asia Group for Energy (SAGE), a US government consortium, will provide advanced technical knowledge on clean energy development from America’s national laboratories to India’s technical institutions and other public institutes.

MNRE secretary Indu Shekhar Chaturvedi and the USAID deputy assistant administrator for Asia, Javier Piedra, launched the partnership on the margins of the US-India Strategic Energy Partnership meetings.

To maximise the impact of the partnership, the SAGE consortium, in discussion with MNRE and its institutions such as the National Institute of Wind Energy and the National Institute of Biomass Energy, has identified key topics such as building world-class capabilities in cookstove testing to reduce the environmental and health impacts of traditional cookstove use, understanding the feasibility and impact of biomass and renewable energy hybrid systems, economic and environmental assessment of agriculture and bio-energy development, and advancing short- and long-term forecasting capabilities for wind and solar resources.

Highlighting the significance of this new partnership to the India-US clean energy collaboration, Piedra said: “Through the SAGE initiative, our effort is to bring the best of US knowledge and expertise from three US department of energy labs to share with Indian national institutions.

“SAGE will provide a formal platform for collaboration on clean energy development and will focus on increasing our engagement with the MNRE national institutions so that they act as a powerhouse of science, engineering and technology for India and the entire South Asia region.”

Chaturvedi said this institutional arrangement will result in Indian and US institutions sharing important technical information, including on innovative technologies, to their mutual benefit. It will also contribute to strengthen the broader partnership between the two countries.

SAGE will contribute towards achieving the goals of the US government’s Asia Enhancing Growth and Development through Energy (Asia EDGE) initiative, a primary pillar of the US administration’s Indo-Pacific vision in South Asia, and the US-India Strategic Energy Partnership.

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