India and the US on Tuesday inked a MoU for establishing the PACEsetter Fund, a new joint Rs 50 crore ($7.9 million) fund to accelerate the commercialization of innovative clean energy solutions.
The MoU was inked by US Ambassador Richard Verma and New and Renewable Energy Secretary Upendra Tripathi as part of President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s commitment to strengthening and expanding the US-India Partnership to Advance Clean Energy (PACE), said a US embassy statement here.
The fund will provide grants to support development and testing of innovative products, systems, and business models to improve the viability of off-grid renewable energy businesses. The grants will target companies that sell small-scale clean energy systems to individuals and communities without access to grid-connected power or with limited or intermittent access to power.
The two governments expect to announce the initial call for proposals for the PACEsetter Fund during the August 19-20 India Off-Grid Energy Summit.
The PACEsetter Fund is the principal funding arm of Promoting Energy Access through Clean Energy (PEACE), an initiative of the US government and India to harness commercial enterprise and bring clean energy access to unserved and underserved individuals and communities.
Other PEACE activities include the development of a quality assurance framework for mini-grids and support for the Clean Energy Access Network (CLEAN), which seeks to develop the decentralized clean energy sector in India. Future planned activities include a private sector investment initiative and a new focus on super-efficient appliances, according to the statement.