Union Minister for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences Harsh Vardhan
Union Minister for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences Harsh VardhanPress Information Bureau

India will double its investment in clean energy research from the current $72 million to $145 million in the next five years, it announced on Friday, June 3, at a global meet on the subject in San Francisco in the United States, according to a statement by the Ministry of Power.

As member countries outlined their agenda for the next five years at the 7th Clean Energy Ministerial and the Inaugural Mission Innovation Meet, also called CEM7, Union Minister for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences Harsh Vardhan, who led the Indian delegation at the event, also announced new joint collaborations with Mission Innovation Countries.

These include expansion of India's collaboration with the United Kingdom with the setting up of a Joint Virtual Clean Energy Centre to tackle the challenges in the field of solar energy, and the launch of a new Research Track on Smart Energy Grids and Energy Storage as a part of the Indo-U.S. Partnership to Advance Clean Energy Research, said the statement.

"India is a founding member of the Steering Committee of the Mission Innovation and also a member of the two sub-groups: Joint Research and Capacity Building and Private Sector Engagement. The Department of Biotechnology under the Ministry of Science and Technology is coordinating the national efforts towards the Mission," said the statement.

Harsh Vardhan also launched the Global Cooling Challenge at the meet, according to the statement. Accelerating the introduction of super-efficient air conditioners can help reduce energy demand from 60GW to40 GW, a difference of more than 30 percent, he noted, which can lead to savings of $2.8 billion in energy bills and also a massive reduction in carbon footprint.

Interestingly, the Union Minister of State (independent charge) for Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy, Piyush Goyal, has been quoted in a statement released by his ministry as saying that the current government's mission is to increase use of clean technologies for renewable power generation and make India the Clean Energy Capital of the world.