• The US and India have been collaborating under PACE since 2009 which undertakes research and deployment of clean energy technologies
  • The US Department of Energy and the Indian Ministry of Science and Technology will shell out $1.5 million annually for the next five years
  • The program will also involve the private sector, which is planned to match the governments commitment to the fund

The USA and India have reportedly agreed to spend $30 million on a public-private five-year research initiative, which will focus on smart grid and energy storage technology. This program is being promoted under the US-India Partnership to Advance Clean Energy Research (PACE-R).

India and the US have been strengthening their collaboration on clean energy in recent times, which stems from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Barack Obama’s strong support for renewables. The $30 million fund was decided to be set up after Modi met Obama in the US in June 2016 (see US India Renewables Pact).

Launched in 2009, PACE combines work of both nations for ‘inclusive, low carbon growth by supporting research and deployment of clean energy technologies’. The $100 million program encourages the private sector as well as government bodies from both countries and the research community to collaborate on clean energy research. There are three components of PACE – research (PACE-R), deployment (PACE-D) and off-grid energy access (PEACE).

The Indian business daily, The Economic Times (ET) reported that both the US Department of Energy (DOE) and the Indian Ministry of Science and Technology want to shell out $1.5 million each annually for the next five years to fund the research. This will be subject to congressional appropriations. At the same time, private entities from both countries participating in the program are planned to match the government commitments.

US Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz said, “Smart grid and storage technology will transform how we produce and consume electricity, which has the potential to decrease carbon pollution by scaling up renewable energy deployment.”

According to ET, in 2012, the two countries committed to jointly fund PACE-R with a combined $50 million in government funding over five years and launch three research consortiums that focus on solar energy, energy efficiency in buildings and
next-generation biofuels. The fourth consortium is the new announcement for a $30 million fund, which will focus on smart grid and energy storage technologies.

The consortium of the $30 million fund is planned to become an official entity sometime in 2017, when an award selection is made.