Investing in clean energy has many benefits. Cleaner energy means improved air and water quality. It contributes to a modern infrastructure that makes a nation’s goods and services more competitive. And that means more jobs and a better standard of living for more people.
In 2014 alone, the developing world invested more than $130 billion in clean energy. India is among the leaders.
India’s pace of progress
The U.N. says India invested $7.4 billion in clean energy last year, 14 percent more than the year before. It’s no surprise then that when President Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi meet, clean energy is a big topic of conversation. They mean business, literally.
The two countries are collaborators supporting clean-energy projects. Launched in 2009, the U.S.-India Partnership to Advance Clean Energy (PACE) has brought billions to clean-energy projects in India. In September 2014, Modi and Obama pledged to expand the initiative.
On and off the grid
PACE supports innovative energy businesses in their early stages, according to U.S. Ambassador to India Richard Verma. In August, he announced that USAID will mobilize $41 million more to finance companies as they outgrow the startup phase.
The U.S. and India encourage these entrepreneurs to develop energy-efficient electricity that relieves demand on over-stressed, traditional utility grids.
Getting the capital
The India Clean Energy Finance Forum has even bigger numbers in mind. It’s trying to raise $200 billion to accomplish India’s ambitious clean-energy goals. And the U.S.-India Task Force on Clean Energy Finance concentrates on U.S.-India government-to-government collaboration to accelerate investments.
Research on smart technologies
The U.S.-India Joint Center for Building Energy Research and Development connects dozens of public and private institutions in the two nations to support solar energy projects, advances in biofuels, energy-efficient buildings and smart-grid technology.
Top universities in each nation have signed on — among them the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, and the Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, Hyderabad, in India, and the University of Florida and the University of California, Berkeley, in the U.S.