Indo-US PACEsetter Fund Selects 4 Projects for Grants

MNRE is awarding 4 off-grid projects for the second series of PACEsetter fund

Out of 168 expressions of interests, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has selected 4 off-grid projects to award grants in the second round of the PACEsetter fund program. The awardees include Society for Economic and Social Studies, New Delhi, Customized Energy Solutions India Pvt. Ltd., Pune, The Energy & Resources Institute (TERI), New Delhi and RaghavendraSuntech Systems Pvt Ltd (RSSPL), Bengaluru.

The PACEsetter Fund is a Rs 50 crore (USD 7.9 million) fund which was formed by India and the USA in 2015 as a joint fund to provide early-stage grant funding to accelerate the commercialization of innovative off-grid clean energy products, systems, and business models.

While the details of the awarded amount are unavailable, the PACEsetter is reportedly is offering up to USD 2 million for this round, with grant sizes ranging from USD 50,000 to USD 300,000.

The award was presented by Anand Kumar, secretary, MNRE and Mr. Kenneth Ian Juster, the U.S. Ambassador to India where they both highlighted the importance of access to energy. The fund’s main purpose is to improve the viability of off-grid renewable energy businesses that sell small scale (under 1 megawatt) clean energy systems to individuals and communities without access to grid-connected power or with limited/intermittent access (less than 8 hours per day).

The government of India has set a solar target of 100 GW for 2022 in which 60 GW is planned to come from ground mount solar plant and 40 GW from rooftop solar. This has given rise to sale of standalone solar products especially in commercial and industrial buildings in India, which are supplied grid electricity at significantly higher rates than residential users, and are finding solar systems more economical.

According to GOGLA report, globally the sale of 3.9 million off-grid solar lighting products took place in the second half of 2018 with an installed stand-alone solar capacity of 32.39 MW worldwide. In India, the sales of solar products currently stand at is USD 576 million. The figure includes both government subsidy-based sales and private sales. Private sales stood at USD 102 million and are expected to grow at a rate of 8 percent over the next five years at an accelerated growth of 17 percent per annum. The value of this segment alone is 0.5 percent of the Indian consumer durable market.

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