US, India setting up $125 mn clean energy centre

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In a significant development in the quest for clean energy, three top research institutions each in India and the United States have joined hands to form three consortia that will make up the $125 million US-India Joint Clean Energy Research and Development Centre (JCERDC).

These consortia, led in the US by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the University of Florida, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) will bring together experts from national laboratories, universities, and industry in the US and India, the US Department of Energy announced Friday.

The three lead US institutions have partnered with three lead Indian institutions: 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 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.

“This innovative research program will help promote clean energy, create jobs, and open export opportunities for US business,” said David Sandalow, Assistant Secretary for Policy and International Affairs.

“By bringing some of our best scientific and technical minds together, we can strengthen both our great nations.”

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

The Indian Government has also committed to funding $25 million over five years to support work in India.

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.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at arun.kumar@ians.in)

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