India and the United States Make Renewable Energy a Priority

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Three days ago, President Barack Obama began his three day visit to India where the leaders of both countries planned a series of talks that would greatly impact the futures of both nations. With that three day visit now complete, President Obama and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh can safely walk away from the table and say that they have accomplished a fair bit of diplomatic work while the two dignitaries were meeting. Among the many agreements that were made, the United States vowed to throw in its lot with India’s renewable energy goals.

Due to India’s massive need for energy and their desire to continue expanding their power infrastructure to parts of the country that go without, renewable energy has quickly gained popularity in the country. So far, India has invested massive quantities of money and time into solar energy in order to reach their goal of generating around twenty gigawatts of solar energy by 2020.  The country has been actively working towards their goal with the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission that is attempting to create 1,100 megawatts of solar energy by 2013. Wind power also has become a significant part of the country’s renewable energy policy with nearly two percent of the nation’s established power coming from that source.

In an effort to aid India is reaching their renewable energy goals while also investing in the development of renewable energy technology, President Barack Obama has agreed to invest $5 million dollars annually over the course of five years into Indian renewable energy. The investment will also be matched by companies in the private sector making a total investment $50 million dollars by the five years end. The money is going to be going towards establishing a research center where Indian and American minds will investigate new ways to harness solar energy, distill and create second generation biofuels from varying sources, and to increase building efficiency in a country with such a large population. The decision to create the research center is the primary part of a ten year agreement signed by the two countries and includes the five year investment plan.

The portion of the agreement that focuses less on direct renewable energy sources and more on the efficiency of various systems is also expected to be a part of the ten year plan. In the agreement that was signed by Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia and the United States Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, both nations will be working together to create an efficient means of linking renewable energy into power grids, increasing transportation efficiency, as well as investigating the uses of unconventional fuel sources such as shale gas.

Hopefully, the agreement between India and the United States will end up generating some seriously exciting renewable energy technology. Considering the fact that both nations have a fair amount of responsibility in trying to discover ways to replace aging and inefficient power grids, only good will hopefully come of it.

Article by Richard Cooke, appearing courtesy Justmeans.

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