Remarks by Mission Director Mark Anthony White at the 1st International Conference on Large-Scale Grid Integration of Renewable Energy in India

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

(As prepared for delivery)

Good Morning Ladies and Gentlemen. On behalf of the United States Government and our partners in this conference, GIZ, it gives me great pleasure to welcome you all to the first international conference on “Large-Scale Integration of Renewable Energy in India”.  I extend my warm greetings to German Ambassador to India Dr. Martin Ney.  Energy is a key determinant of growth, and India, a country of a billion people with billions of aspirations, needs sustainable energy now more than ever to continue to grow at 7-8 percent annually. 

The Government of India has set a precedent in the world by committing to increase India’s clean energy production by a staggering 175 gigawatts by 2022. Our commitment towards achieving this goal is strong and unrelenting. USAID’s bilateral program with the Ministry of Power, called Greening the Grid, will over the next five years support India’s efforts to manage large-scale integration of renewables into the Indian power grid in a cost-effective manner. And I’m delighted to note that the work under this partnership has already begun in full force.

Earlier this year as part of the Greening the Grid program, former Power Minister Piyush Goyal, released the report called the “Pathways to Integrate 175 Gigwatts of Renewable Energy into the Electricity Grid” and he acknowledged the combined and collaborative efforts that are critical to creating the backbone for a reliable grid.

The report established that the target of 175 GW is achievable for India. It also highlighted the various solutions that would have to be tested and adopted to help in the integration of renewable energy into the power grid.

Recently, USAID also launched the “Renewable Integration and Sustainable Energy” or RISE project which is the central component of the Greening the Grid program. This project will pilot innovative grid integration solutions and technologies to support the grid. I am pleased to note that the GTG-RISE initiative has already identified six pilots in consultation with the Ministry of Power for implementation and scaling.

And today’s conference is yet another milestone achieved in our journey toward a sustainable India. This is the first international conference in India specifically dedicated to identifying key concerns for grid integration of high-levels of renewable energy and potential solutions. It is jointly organized by USAID and GIZ and showcases our commitment towards combining and establishing a collaborative effort for knowledge exchanges between the United States, India and Germany.

I welcome all the representatives and experts from the U.S., Germany and other countries who travelled this far and have joined us today in this conference to share their experiences.

I understand that there are more than 100 paper presentations in the conference and more than 300 participants have registered for this event.  I do hope that these three days of discussions and interactions stimulates knowledge sharing and learnings.

We are all excited with the upward growth trajectory in clean energy in India. I am proud of our partnerships with the Government of India and look forward to continued support and engagement in advancing our shared agenda for large-scale integration of renewable energy in the Indian power grid.

In the field of energy, the U.S. Government has had a long-standing collaboration with the Government of India. We at USAID have been fortunate to work with the Ministry of Power on a number of collaborative efforts. Our relationship with Ministry of New and Renewable Energy is relatively new but we are hopeful of achieving even higher successes as we move forward. I want to particularly thank both of you and your ministries for their active participation and support to our bilateral efforts in the power sector that have further put U.S. and India’s 70 years’ of cooperation on the upward trajectory.

I want to also take this opportunity to recognize the efforts and commitment shown by our Indian colleagues partnering on the Greening the Grid program including the Power System Operation Corporation, the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission, the Central Electricity Authority, National Thermal Power Corporation, Power Grid Corporation of India Limited and participating states.

In closing, I would like to thank and congratulate the team from GIZ, Energynautics, and our partner Deloitte for bringing international experts to this common platform to share their knowledge, help understand the challenges and deliberate on solutions.

Prime Minister Modi’s tremendous leadership and his futuristic vision is well reflected from his recent speech on the 70th Independence Day highlighting his vision for India, where the poor will have concrete houses with water and electricity connection. With an enthusiastic and determined Ministry of Power and Ministry of Renewable Energy, I am confident India will achieve the goals it has set for herself and I hope that our bilateral cooperation contributes to this agenda. 

Thank you once again and I welcome you all. 

Issuing Country