New Delhi, Nov 8 (IANS) The US-India CEO Forum has recommended the setting up of a $1 billion venture capital fund for clean energy projects focusing on bio-fuels, solar and bio-mass as part of the larger goal of ensuring energy security of the two countries.
The suggestion was made jointly by the two co-chairs of the Forum, Tata Group Chairman Ratan Tata and Honeywell Corp Chairman and Chief Executive David Cote, coinciding with the visit of US President Barack Obama to India.
‘Key issues for both countries centre on high dependence on imported hydrocarbons, and inadequate incentives for clean energy. The opportunity is in synergizing R&D (research and development) capabiliites and funding for clean energy and in enhancing energy efficiency,’ Tata and Cote said in their note.
……..The Forum’s other recommendations on the area of clean energy include:
– Finalise projects under India’s national solar mission
– Double capacity of solar energy in India to 2,000 MW soon
– Promote production of bio-fuels from jatropha and pongamia
– Expand use of bio-mass from forestry and agriculture
It is heartening to note that the projects for the first phase of the mission is being currently shortlisted and finalized. Further, NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam Ltd. (NVVN) has given a clear road map of the process and time lines for the same.
Bio-fuels and plantations are now being done undertaken by American companies like Clenergen in India with agronomy management services from local universities and biotech companies in India.
As Panchabuta had earlier here, companies like Praj Industries has pioneered technology platforms to make biofuels a sustainable and attractive choice and have started working on the entire value chain of the processing right from feed stock handling and have been cognizant of the feed stock problem in India and hence enabling know-how for newer energy feedstocks like Sweet Sorghum. Further,companies like Thermax, that has a long involvement in the Energy business has led to a very deep understanding of fuels and their R&D labs have successfully tested and commercialized firing of more than 40 bio waste and bio fuels like rice husk, agro waste and municipal waste. Thermax’s boilers have the ability to accept fuels like Bagasse, mustard stalk, cotton stalk, rice husk, coffee grounds, de-oiled bran, wood chips, roasted chaff, lignite, washery rejects, paper sludge, coal.
Earlier, Carbon asset management firm, First Climate, announced of plans to launch Euro 200MN clean energy fund to invest in India, China, SE Asia.