The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has announced that it has awarded grants to the awardees of the second round of PACEsetter fund program. The PACEsetter Fund is a ₹50 million ($7.9 million) fund jointly capitalized by India and the U.S.
The MNRE received 168 Expressions of Interest (EoIs) in the second round of the program. Out of these, four projects were selected for award of grants. The projects were awarded to the Society for Economic and Social Studies, an independent non-profit organization working in the field of sustainable rural development; Customized Energy Solutions India Pvt. Ltd, an energy advisory and service company; The Energy & Resources Institute (TERI), a not-for-profit, policy research organization – working in the field of energy, environment, and sustainable development; and Raghavendra Suntech Systems Pvt Ltd (RSSPL).
The PACEsetter Fund program is an Indo-U.S. initiative set up in 2015, which aims to accelerate the commercialization of innovative off-grid clean energy access solutions by providing early-stage grant funding that would allow businesses and non-profits to develop and test innovative products, business models, and systems.
One of the main objectives of the fund 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 and intermittent access. It is unclear how non-profit and policy organizations are able to achieve this.
In July 2019, Mercom reported that the off-grid solar markets are instrumental in creating energy access to more than half a billion people around the world. According to a Pay-As-You-Go (PAYGo) Market Attractiveness Index (MAI), India achieved a high score in the overall numbers, demonstrating a relatively robust performance in the sector and Asia as well.
Earlier this year, the MNRE also invited project proposals for research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) in areas of new and renewable energy from R&D organizations/institutions, universities, and industries. The ministry has identified certain priority areas for R&D in solar photovoltaic, solar thermal, waste to energy, wind energy, hydrogen, and fuel cell, and energy storage.
Image credit: Offgrid Electric
Shaurya is a staff reporter at MercomIndia.com with experience working in the Indian solar energy industry for the past four years in various roles. Prior to joining Mercom, Shaurya worked with a renewable energy developer and a consulting company. Shaurya holds a Bachelors Degree in Business Management from Lancaster University in the United Kingdom.