The collaboration between the United States and India lie at the heart of our strategic interests in Asia. India has the sixth largest economy in the world in nominal terms and nearly one-fifth of the global population, with a long tradition of entrepreneurialism and democratic governance. India is already an important market for US goods and services and has the potential to become a crucial link in the global manufacturing supply chain.
While the fundamentals of this relationship are strong, below are some priorities to strengthen this partnership further in the coming year.
Through these priorities we see tremendous opportunity to deepen the US-India relationship, to the mutual benefit of both countries.
The high-level bilateral Task Force representing industry and government assembles to assess technology status, study innovative policy options and make recommendations. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Indian Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), in coordination with the U.S.-India Strategic Partnership Forum would report its findings under the U.S.-India Strategic Energy Partnership (SEP).
As India pursues its ambitious renewable energy targets and seeks to transform its energy sector. Industry and government are collaborating on the deployment and integration of renewable energy and new technologies into the grid; modernizing the power distribution sector; supporting state-level planning for renewable energy; deploying distributed energy technologies, electric vehicles, rooftop solar, and battery storage; redesigning markets and increasing off-grid energy access.
The US-India Gas Task Force (GTF) was set up under the umbrella of U.S.-India SEP with support from MoPNG and US Department of Energy. It was born to support the Government of India (GOI) and U.S. Government (USG) in their respective goals of expanding India’s gas sector and promoting exports of U.S. goods and services. Work is also underway to enhance flexible operations of power plants needed to address increased renewable energy penetration and variable power demand to minimize operating costs and failure risks.
The appointment of John Kerry to a newly created climate envoy position signals the commitment of the Biden-Harris administration to restoring the United States’ global leadership on climate change. It also indicates that the U.S. government will treat climate change not only as an environmental challenge but also as an increasing threat to national security. Joe Biden will also pledge to re-join the Paris climate agreement.
During his Presidential campaign, Joe Biden outlined a Clean Energy Revolution plan – to address the threat and lead the world in addressing the climate emergency. Biden is proposing to make U.S. electricity production carbon-free by 2035 and to have the country achieve net zero emissions by the middle of the century. Once in office, Joe Biden has promised to spend $2 trillion over four years to drive down emissions by upgrading four million buildings to make them more energy efficient, thereby setting U.S. on a course to meet the ambitious climate progress. He also wants to spend heavily on public transport, to invest in electric vehicle manufacturing and charging points and give consumers financial incentives to trade up to cleaner cars.Joe Biden also announced a Build Back Better plan which promises to launch a national effort aimed at creating the jobs needed to build modern, sustainable infrastructure, which takes into consideration the climate challenges, and deliver an equitable clean energy future.Biden administration will continue to further the work of U.S.-India Strategic Energy Partnership, especially initiatives that will contribute to President Elect’s clean energy vision. One such initiative is the U.S.-India Hydrogen Task Force, which will be launched jointly by the U.S. Department of Energy and the Indian Ministry of New and Renewable Energy and convened under USISPF.
President-elect Biden is keen to keep women at the center of all aspects of his administration and policies. The Biden administration believes that every issue is a women’s issue and will formulate policies and programs to that effect. One such initiative by USISPF, and supported by USAID, is South Asia Women in Energy (SAWIE) that aims to increase the representation of women at the leadership levels in the energy, infrastructure and manufacturing industries in the South Asia region.