MNRE Awards Grants to Four Projects in Second Round of Pacesetter Fund Programme
The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), Government of India, awarded Grants to the awardees of the second round of PACEsetter fund programme in a ceremony organized by the Ministry on September 20, 2019. Shri Anand Kumar, Secretary, MNRE, and Mr Kenneth Ian Juster, the US Ambassador to India co-chaired the felicitation ceremony.
In the second round of awards, a total of 168 Expressions of Interest were received. Out of these, four projects were selected for award of grants. The awardees include Society for Economic and Social Studies, New Delhi; Customized Energy Solutions India Pvt. Ltd., Pune; The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), New Delhi; and Raghavendra Suntech Systems Pvt Ltd (RSSPL), Bengaluru.
Stressing on the importance of access to energy for all, the US Ambassador said that innovation in off-grid and clean energy will improve energy access. Secretary, MNRE appreciated the impact that the awarded projects would have on the common man. He also suggested that innovation realized through such projects could be replicated in other developing countries. The PACEsetter fund was constituted by India and the USA in 2015 as a joint fund to provide early-stage grant funding to accelerate the commercialization of innovative off-grid clean energy products, systems, and business models. The mission of the PACEsetter Fund is to accelerate the commercialization of innovative off-grid clean energy access solutions by providing early-stage grant funding that would allow businesses to develop and test innovative products, business models, and systems. The Fund’s main purpose is to improve the viability of off-grid renewable energy businesses that sell small-scale (under 1 MW) clean energy systems to individuals and communities without access to grid connected power or with limited intermittent access (less than 8 hours per day).
Energy access is crucial for improving the quality of life for India’s citizens and their economic conditions, and 24/7 energy availability remains a priority for the Indian government. Off-grid, clean energy technologies, combined with innovative financing models, marketbased solutions, and policy alignment, have a tremendous potential to become a transformative agent of economic opportunity and rural development.
In 2013, the Governments of the Republic of India and the United States of America launched Promoting Energy Access through Clean Energy (PEACE) as a new track under the US–India Partnership to Advance Clean Energy (PACE), alongside the existing research (PACE-R) and deployment (PACE-D) tracks. PEACE aims to harness commercial enterprise to bring clean energy to individuals and communities un-served and underserved by the electricity grid. In June 2015, these governments established the PACEsetter Fund, a new joint fund to support the PEACE initiative by providing earlystage grant funding to accelerate the commercialization of innovative off-grid clean energy products, systems, and business models.