India, US to deepen cooperation in clean energy

Hyderabad: The US and India will deepen their cooperation in climate and clean energy which offers great economic benefits, US Ambassador to India Richard Verma said on Friday. He believes climate, clean energy and clean water are going to be biggest pathways for cooperation in years ahead. Speaking at the inaugural of a conference with the theme 'The future is now: India- From COP 21 to reality', Verma noted that India's success is critical to global success and that investment in the global energy sector was expected to reach nearly $17 trillion by 2035, or more than the entire GDP of China and India combined. The two-day conference being attended by climate leaders from the US and India is discussing on how to implement the Paris climate agreement. Later, Verma told a news conference that India should improve ease of doing business and investors' confidence to attract more US investments. He noted that while US companies were coming to India in areas like clean energy, there is need for doing more to tap the potential. The ambassador said technology would play a key role in boosting the cooperation in clean energy. He said Prime Minister Modi's 175 GW target for renewable energy deployments is among the most ambitious in the world and the US has done a great deal to support the effort. Through the US-India Partnership to Advance Clean Energy, or PACE, the US mobilized nearly $2.5 billion for clean energy projects in India. Another $1.4 billion in climate finance for solar projects was announced during the Prime Minister's recent visit to the US. Verma recalled President Obama's statement in Paris that they cannot forge a climate agreement that permanently resigns the 300 million people in India lacking electricity to a dim future. "That's why he partnered with Prime Minister Modi to launch Mission Innovation, a public-private partnership involving 20 nations that has pledged to double spending on clean energy research and developmentby 2020," he said. He was confident that these resources will develop new practices and technologies to reduce global carbon emissions while also allowing countries like India to meet their developmental goals. Verma said the US was actively supporting India's solar targets through International Solar Alliance and bilateral initiatives, such as rooftop solar cooperation and solar resource mapping. The ambassador also pointed NASA and the Indian Space Research Organization are working together to develop a Synthetic Aperture Radar satellite that will observe and measure some of the planet's most complex processes, including ecosystem disturbances, ice-sheet collapse, and natural hazards. India also recently reached an agreement with the Westinghouse Electric Company to build six nuclear reactors in Andhra Pradesh. Terming this as a major milestone for India's energy, Verma said it fulfills the promise of the US-India Civil Nuclear Agreement. He claimed that this will give a major boost for Prime Minister Modi's ambitious target of diversifying India's energy resources, help India move towards its goal of making reliable power available to all its citizens, bring jobs to both countries and cutting edge technologies to India's power and construction sectors.