DOE Announces $30 Million Expansion of U.S.–India Partnership to Advance Clean Energy Research

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Fonroche site in Bikaner, Rajasthan using First Solar modules. | Photo courtesy of First Solar.

Building on strong international partnerships to accelerate grid modernization, research and deployment, the U.S. Energy Department’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability  announced a new Funding Opportunity Announcement for joint research on smart grid and energy storage under the U.S.–India Partnership to Advance Clean Energy Research (PACE-R).

The Energy Department (DOE) and the Indian Ministry of Science and Technology (MST) are each committing $1.5 million per year for five years to the expanded research effort, subject to congressional appropriations. The United States and Indian private sectors will match the respective government commitments, resulting in a combined $30 million public-private research investment over the next five years.

“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,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz. “Working collaboratively with India will accelerate solutions to drive down technology costs and improve grid resilience and reliability in both countries.”

In 2009, the United States and India launched the Partnership to Advance Clean Energy (PACE) to support research and deployment of clean energy technologies. PACE is the core mechanism of bilateral energy R&D collaboration between the U.S. and India. Since its launch, the countries have agreed to expand the initiative, which has three main areas of activity: Research (PACE-R), Deployment (PACE-D) and Access (PEACE).

In 2012, DOE and MST committed to jointly funding PACE-R with a combined $50 million in government funding over five years to launch three initial research consortia, focusing on solar energy, energy efficiency in buildings, and next-generation biofuels. Today’s new FOA provides resources for a fourth consortium under PACE-R that will focus on smart grid and energy storage for grid applications. The new consortium will enable counterparts in the United States and India to leverage the technological research capabilities of both countries. The new consortium will be officially established when an award selection is made – anticipated in 2017.

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