The Ministerial meeting of the U.S.-India Strategic Clean Energy Partnership (SCEP) was held in New Delhi, on 18th July, 2023.
The meeting celebrated the achievements of the SCEP, which has made substantial strides in bolstering energy security, promoting clean energy innovation, and driving sustainable development. The partnership has been instrumental in facilitating commercial collaborations between the two nations and has witnessed significant growth in energy trade, further strengthening ties between India and the United States.
The SCEP’s mandate was reviewed during the meeting, highlighting its dynamic and ambitious collaboration across a wide range of clean energy work streams. These work streams include clean and renewable energy, energy efficiency, emerging technologies like battery storage, gas hydrates, advanced biofuels, hydrogen and electrolyzer production. The Ministers recognized the pivotal role of green/clean hydrogen as a crucial energy source for global decarbonization and pledged to support each other’s national hydrogen missions.
The SCEP has also been effective in promoting cooperation between the public and private sectors to advance decarbonization efforts in both countries. Through initiatives like public-private task forces, India-US Business Roundtables, and other commercial dialogues, the partnership has fostered a supportive environment for clean energy transition.
Emphasizing the significance of energy access, affordability, and justice, both sides acknowledged the necessity of coordinated efforts in developing energy transition roadmaps, capacity building, job skilling, and sharing best practices across all levels of government. To support the clean energy transition, the Ministers agreed to work towards the development of net-zero villages in India.
Building on the positive agenda outlined by Prime Minister Modi and President Biden in their Joint Statement of June 22, 2023, the Ministers welcomed the establishment of the public-private Energy Storage Task Force and the Hydrogen Task Force. These initiatives aim to support the integration of renewable energy and accelerate the deployment of hydrogen technologies to achieve their national hydrogen strategies and cost reduction goals.
Moreover, the launch of the U.S.-India New and Emerging Renewable Energy Technologies Action Platform (RETAP) was celebrated, as it will accelerate the development of key technologies and support common ambitious clean energy goals.
The Ministers recognized the crucial role of the transportation sector in reducing carbon emissions, particularly through the promotion of zero-emission vehicles. They also highlighted the importance of securing funding and providing affordable financing for the e-mobility sector, including the creation of the “Electric Vehicle (EV) financing services facility.”
Additionally, both sides welcomed cooperation in advancing research, development, and commercialization of technologies in emerging fuels such as bio-ethanol, renewable diesel, sustainable aviation fuels, and other advanced biofuels.
The vision of establishing the Global Biofuels Alliance was affirmed by the Ministers. The alliance aims to strengthen markets, facilitate global biofuels trade, and provide technical support for national biofuels programs worldwide.
The meeting also recognized the role of carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) in reducing emissions and agreed to spur partnerships in this area, including exploring geologic carbon storage potential.
In the areas of power system modernization, energy efficiency and conservation, and reducing emissions across the oil and gas sector, the Ministers welcomed ongoing collaborations. They emphasized the importance of a stable, sustainable, diversified, resilient, and globally responsible clean energy supply chain to enable energy transition pathways while minimizing risks and uncertainty.
Both sides acknowledged the work of various agencies and organizations in supporting sustainable and clean energy systems, including cooperation between USAID and Indian agencies such as Indian Railways, NTPC, and Skills Council for Green Jobs.
Finally, the Ministers praised the joint research and development under the Partnership to Advance Clean Energy-Research (PACE-R), highlighting the successes of the R&D track on advanced smart grid and energy storage technologies.