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US & India setting up joint research centre on clean energy technologies  

India-U.S. clean energy research centre established

Narayan Lakshman (Hindu)

WASHINGTON: India and the U.S. on Friday formally signed an agreement for cooperation on a joint Clean Energy Research Development Centre.

The agreement follows from the discussions held between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Barack Obama during the former's visit to Washington in November 2009.

At the time the countries signed a memorandum of understanding to enhance cooperation on energy security, energy efficiency and climate change.

Discussions on the same saw further progress during the Strategic Dialogue held in June this year.

An official statement noted that priority initiatives under the MoU included the setting up of a joint research centre to “foster innovation and joint efforts to accelerate deployment of clean energy technologies.” The agreement was signed by Indian Ambassador Meera Shankar and Deputy Secretary of Energy in the U.S. Department of Energy Daniel Poneman.

The Centre aims to facilitate joint research and development by teams of scientists and engineers from the U.S. and India on clean energy, officials here said. Under the arrangements, the areas of cooperation would include energy efficiency of buildings, smart grids, unconventional natural gas, second-generation bio fuels, clean coal technologies and solar energy.

Both governments would provide funding for the activities “to help ensure long-term and stable financial support to achieve the objectives of the Centre,” a statement confirmed. The Indian embassy here said that the agreement was a “significant step forward” in bolstering bilateral cooperation in an area of growing national and international priority.

Embassy officials further said to The Hindu that the research centre would be ‘virtual,' and not have any fixed physical locations.

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