US-India task force boosts India’s net zero goal & SCEP

New Delhi: 11-Dec 2023: The U.S.-India Energy Storage Task Force, first announced at the October 2022 Ministerial meeting of the U.S.-India Strategic Clean Energy Partnership (SCEP) held between Indian Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, HE Hardeep S. Puri and U.S. Energy Secretary HE Jennifer Granholm, commenced operations. The public-private U.S.-India Energy Storage Task Force (“ESTF”) was established by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the Indian Ministry of Power (MOP). The India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA) is a leading industry alliance focused on the development of advanced energy storage, green hydrogen, and e-mobility technologies in India. It has been appointed as the Secretariat.

The U.S.-India Energy Storage Task Force aims to facilitate an ongoing and meaningful dialogue among U.S. and Indian government officials, industry representatives, and other stakeholders. The goal is to scale up and accelerate the deployment of Energy Storage technologies. The ESTF will work towards further advancing the goals of the SCEP. This includes developing and deploying emerging clean energy technologies to decarbonize the energy sector. The SCEP is successfully strengthening energy security, creating opportunities for clean energy innovation, addressing climate change, and creating employment generation opportunities for both India and the U.S.

Shri Rakesh Kumar, Secretary, Central Electricity Authority (CEA), Ministry of Power is the Co-chair the lead the task force from India side. Shri Rakesh Kumar mentioned that “The US-India ESTF synergizes the efforts and resources of two countries. It would help India in achieving clean energy transition and targeted net-zero emissions by 2070. It aims at providing reliable, sustainable, and affordable energy storage solutions. This is for the smooth integration of continuous and growing large scale planned RE capacity addition for greening of the power sector in the country.”

“Stored energy is a key component of integrating renewable resources into the electric grid in America. It is also crucial for this integration around the globe,” said Eric Hsieh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Storage in the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Electricity (OE), and the U.S. ESTF Co-Chair. “The launch of the ESTF between the U.S. and India demonstrates how critical partnerships are to achieving the clean energy transition. It also underscores the importance of broad collaboration to accelerate storage technologies.”

The U.S.-India Energy Storage Task Force will facilitate information exchange on existing and planned energy storage projects. It will also share experiences on innovative business models and financing structures. Additionally, the task force will assess the state of energy storage technologies and provide suggestions on upcoming and promising technologies. The task force’s critical functioning area involves reviewing current policies and regulations. They exchange inputs on advancements in the policy and regulatory framework. This aims to accelerate energy storage deployments and address potential barriers. The ESTF will also review the timelines for the deployment of large-scale storage projects. They will align on potential solutions to avoid any future delays.

Mr. Debi Prasad Dash, Executive Director, IESA & Secretary, US-India Energy Storage Taskforce (ESTF) secretariat expressed his happiness and mention that IESA will support both the countries to bring technology collaboration on manufacturing, supply chain and deployment of advanced technologies. As part of the taskforce engagement plan, monthly webinars and working group meetings will be conducted. Additionally, bilateral trade delegations, knowledge exchange programs, and intergovernmental meetings will be held periodically.

Mr. Dash also mentioned that the secretariat has the ambitious target to facilitate the sustainable business growth of 100+ industries in the next 2 years. This aims to accelerate the climate action target of both the countries. The co-chairs and steering committee members will host the virtual launch of the US-India ESTF on December 13, 2023. The public launch of ESTF memberships will also take place during this event. The ESTF will nurture innovative practices in the sector through joint studies, R&D collaborations, technology demonstrations, and pilot projects. It will review the existing testing facilities and procedures and will provide recommendations on establishing testing labs and protocols. The ESTF will focus on the safety and standards aspects of energy storage technologies. This includes considerations during production, transportation, deployment, commissioning, recycling, re-use, and disposal.

The ESTF endeavours to take skill development both for R&D and battery manufacturing giga factories to the next level. The ESTF will address the skill gaps. It will propose cross-country skill development programs. These programs will allow researchers and scientists to amplify skill sets at advanced technology facilities and laboratories. The task force will facilitate and explore techno-commercial collaborations and country partnership agreements. These agreements will cover fields such as R&D, technology development, resource mapping, exploration, and extraction. Additionally, the task force will pursue trade agreements with countries rich in critical raw materials required for manufacturing energy storage systems. It will also promote working on mini-grids and social equity projects.

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