Emphasising on the need to forge a strong partnership to achieve a more sustainable development, US Ambassador to India Richard Verma today said India’s ambitious development goals have the potential to “aggravate resource depletion and global warming”.
“The challenge is clear for all of us: to pioneer a path towards a more sustainable future. The vision is also clear: India and United States build on a strong partnership and take a leading role to pioneer a new and more sustainable path to development,” Verma said addressing the India Energy Access Summit here.
Verma said, “Without electricity, it is simply impossible to create the necessary jobs, homes, factories…estimates suggest that if India succeeds in meeting its ambitious development goals, its energy consumption, which has doubled over the past 15 years, may triple or even quadruple in coming decades.”
He was of the view that though this growth will lift India’s hundreds of millions of people into the middle class, but it has the “potential to aggravate pollution and aggravate resource depletion in India and exaggerate global warming”.
Talking about technology breakthroughs in clean energy, Verma said, “I think that next Bill Gates or Steve Jobs will not make his or her mark in computers but may be in the field of unleashing renewable energy revolution. The advancement in the clean energy like use of digital technology, lower cost of wind and solar are breath taking and generating a lot of excitement.”
Talking about Rs 50 crore PACEsetter Fund, he said, “We received 139 ‘Expressions of Interest (EOI)’ and in May of this year we awarded funding to nine of those proposals.” He further said, “We will be accepting EOI through October for the next round of funding…even if you did not get selected last year, consider reapplying this year.”
In June 2015, India and the UK set up PACEsetter Fund to support the PEACE initiative by providing early-stage grant funding to accelerate the commercialisation of innovative off-grid clean energy products, systems and business models.
Verma said, “When we launched PACESetter Fund a year ago, it was a concept and an idea. We have launched another new fund to leverage another USD 1.4 billion in clean energy financing. That is on top of the USD 2.5 billion in financing (clean energy). We strongly support International Solar Alliance (an initiative by India).”