India, US joint $125 mn fund for research in renewable energy

India and the United States have announced a joint $ 125 million fund to carry out combined research in the field of clean energy.

As such three institutions each from India and the US have been selected for the US-India Joint Clean Energy Research and Development Center (JCERDC), which is part of the US-India Partnership to Advance Clean Energy, announced during the November 2009 visit of US President Barack Obama to India.

While National Renewable Energy Laboratory, University of Florida and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have been selected from the US, three Indian institutions are the Indian Institute of Science-Bangalore, the Indian Institute of Chemical Technology-Hyderabad, and CEPT University-Ahmedabad.

Consortia researchers will leverage their expertise and resources in solar power technology, advanced biofuels and building efficiency to unlock the huge potential of clean energy technologies that can reduce energy use, cut dependence on foreign oil, and accelerate the deployment of renewable energy sources, the US Department of Energy said.

"This innovative research programme will help promote clean energy, create jobs, and open export opportunities for US business," said David Sandalow, Assistant Secretary for Policy and International Affairs in the Department of Energy.

"By bringing some of our best scientific and technical minds together, we can strengthen both our great nations," Sandalow said.

As part of a planned five-year initiative, the Energy Department will make $5 million available in fiscal year 2012. The Department plans to make additional requests to Congress for up to $ 20 million over the next four years.

India has committed to funding $ 25 million over five years that will be used to support work by Indian institutions and individuals.

In addition, US and Indian consortia members have pledged over $ 75 million in matching funds, for a combined funding total of more than $ 125 million for joint research and development in solar energy, advanced biofuels and building energy efficiency.

In solar energy, the consortium’s research will focus on sustainable photovoltaics solar power, multiscale concentrated solar thermal power, and solar energy integration.

In addition, the consortium will focus on development of sustainable advanced lignocellulosic biofuel systems.

They will also focus on the integration of information technology with building controls and physical systems for commercial and high-rise residential buildings.