Highlights in 2017
Highlights in 2017


New clean energy innovation policies and/or strategies

The Indian Government plans to provide 24×7 power to the entire country by the year 2019. It would like to create infrastructure that is cost effective, sustainable as well as solutions that use clean energy. The Government is also looking at providing sustainable and energy efficient infrastructure in 100 smart cities that would include provision for adequate power generation and using renewable as well as energy efficiency technologies.

  • A new policy for “testing, standardisation and certification” of products in the renewable energy sector has been developed.The policy aims to adopt, update and develop standards for all renewable energy equipment, systems, components and devices in line with international practices and make performance certification mandatory to ensure quality and reliability in renewable energy supply in the country.
  • Wind Solar Hybrid Policy to Strengthen Energy Security of India: The Government has formulated draft National Wind-Solar Hybrid Policy with the objective to provide a framework for promotion of large grid connected wind-solar PV system for optimal and efficient utilization of transmission infrastructure and land, reducing the variability in renewable power generation and thus achieving better grid stability. Further, the policy aims to encourage new technologies, methods and way-outs involving combined operation of wind and solar PV plants.
  • The new National Policy on Bio-fuels has been formulated and submitted for cabinet approval. The goal of the policy is to enable availability of biofuels in the market thereby increasing the blending percentage. There may be incentives for setting up biorefineries through Variability Gap Funding schemes for differential pricing and off take insurance.
  • Solar energy: The Government of India has been able to revise projects based on National Solar Mission target of Grid Connected Solar Power from 20,000 MW to 100,000 MW by the year 2022. Further, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has sanctioned a master plan for developing 50 solar cities of the proposed 60 cities which is inclusive of cities in the National Capital Region.
  • Wind energy: The Union Cabinet – headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi – has approved the National Offshore Wind Energy Policy. This approval now gives a path for offshore wind energy development which also includes setting up of offshore wind power projects, along with activities such as research and development.
  • Hydrocarbons: The Ministry of Power invited global firms for participating in the unconventional hydrocarbons sector in India, especially focusing on exploring as well as exploiting alternate energy sources including shale gas, shale oil as well as gas hydrates.
  • The new government implemented institutional change affecting the research policy through creation of National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog), which replaced the earlier Planning Commission. Under the above mentioned institution, the Atal Innovation Mission (currently endowed with a budget of around € 20m) aims to provide an innovation promotion platform and related R&D funds. Its mandate states that it should promote a network of world-class innovation hubs (e.g. as part of IITs, IIMs, AIIMs, etc). The new government also launched a FDI Policy 2015 and a new National IPR Policy.

Top clean energy innovation successes in 2017

  • State-run Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL) and LanzaTech, carbon recycling company, have signed a deal to build the world’s first refinery of gas-to-bioethanol production facility in India at an investment of Rs 350 crore.
  • DBT-Indian Oil Corporation Centre has successfully developed indigenous enzyme technology which has successfully been evaluated in the pilot plant at M/s PrajIndustries, Pune and have shown comparable efficiency to the commercially used current enzyme. The indigenously developed cellulase enzyme can be integrated with the commercial 2G Bioethanol production using onsite enzyme production model to reduce the opex and dependability on few proprietary suppliers.
  • India is taking a leading role in the International Renewable Community and was a leading country along with France in the formation of the International Solar Alliance (ISA), an international body of 121 countries lying between the Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn. 47 countries have signed the Framework Agreement and 18 countries have ratified it within 1 year of opening of Framework for signature.  Accordingly, ISA became a legal entity on 6/12/2017, with its headquarters in India.
  • A government supported company, Energy Efficiency Services Limited, has worked with LED manufacturers to drive the cost of LED lights down by 85 % in less than three years. The energy savings from replacing 770 million household and street lights will cut India’s peak electricity demand by 20,000 megawatts (MW) and slash emissions of climate-heating CO2 by nearly 80 million tonnes annually.
  • India’s solar and wind boom has pushed costs off a cliff, falling from 12 cents a kW/hr to just 4 cents a kW/hr for solar.

Top activities delivered in support of the Innovation Challenges in 2017

  • Mission Innovation Smart Grids WorkshopAn International workshop was organised during 16-19th November, 2017 in New Delhi to define research priorities and an develop action plan for time-bound realisation of these objectives.
  • The Department of Science and Technology announced Funding opportunity Announcement to financially support activities towards the design of research, development and demonstration projects that can address the issue of integration and inter-operability of existing centralized power networks (without disturbing the existing power network) with renewable energy-based power plants in the short-run and also develop R&D pathways for 100% renewable powered grid.
  • Mission Innovation Off-Grid Access to Electricity Workshop: A national workshop was organized in May 2017 in New Delhi with the objective of supporting a significant reduction in price and increase performance of renewable power systems by 2020 for individual homes in off grid region and, for remote communities. Pursuant to this, the Department of Science and Technology announced the Funding Opportunity Announcement for Off-Grid Access to Electricity. The purpose of the call is to develop the systems that integrate innovative technologies (components, subsystems etc.) at high readiness level, demonstrate their technical feasibility and cost effectiveness in diverse social contexts of countries requiring off-grid access to electricity including India. It is expected to evolve technology and develop methodology and business models tunable to local conditions.
  • Mission Innovation Carbon Capture & Utilization WorkshopA national workshop on carbon Capture and Utilization was organized on 13th September 2017 at New Delhi, India. As a follow up, a National RD&D Funding Opportunity Announcement is proposed to support the IC3 challenge. This funding will support researchers and private sector actors to work collaboratively on 3-year projects. The focus will be to accelerate innovation around the focus of innovation challenge IC3 and collaborative work is encouraged.
  • The Mission Innovation India Unit with support from Department of Biotechnology organized the International Conference on Sustainable Biofuels in February 2018 in New Delhi. The aim of the conference was to bring together experts and delegates from 19 countries together to take stock of current knowledge, share information and best practices, and build consensus on the actions most needed to move forward. Also, the conference aimed at seeking a clear understanding of the development of the bio-economy made by participating countries and to increase awareness of policy makers about the challenges faced by the industry-investor for commercial scale up of advanced biofuels. The need for collaboration-cooperation to speed up commercialization and focus on latest R&D in advanced biofuels will be the expected outcomes of this International event.
  • Pursuant to the ICSB 2018, a Funding opportunity Announcement (FoA) for Sustainable Biofuels has been proposed. The details for this FoA have been shared with all the Sustainable Biofuel Innovation Challenge (SBIC) member countries.
  • The Mission Innovation India unit with support from DBT organized the National Workshop on Sunlight Conversion Innovation Challenge in September 2017. At New Delhi India.India is in process of announcing a Funding Opportunity call to support the IC5 Innovation Challenge. This funding will support researchers and private sector to work collaboratively on a 3year projects. The focus will be to accelerate innovation around the focus of innovation challenge IC5 and collaborative work is encouraged.
  • Mission Innovation India workshop on Clean Energy Materials was organized on August 17, 2017 New Delhi. Under the National Funding Programme, a Call for proposal on Clean Energy Materials (Materials for Energy Storage (MES) and Material for Energy Conservation and Storage Platform (MECSP) has been proposed.
  • Mission Innovation-India Workshop on Affordable Heating and Cooling of Buildings was organized on August 17th, 2017 at New Delhi. A RD&D funding call on IC7, Affordable heating and Cooling of Buildings has been proposed for this year to accelerate innovation around the focus of innovation challenge IC7 and collaborative work is encouraged.


Countries: United States
Type of collaboration: public-public
Funding amount: $50 million USD
The overall aim of the JCERDC is to facilitate joint research and development on clean energy to improve energy access and promote low-carbon growth. To achieve this objective, the Indo-US JCERDC supports  multi-institutional  network  projects  using  a  public-private  partnership model of funding.

UIASSIST: US‐India collAborative for smart diStribution System wIth STorage
Countries: United States
Type of collaboration: public-public
Funding amount: $30 million USD
Multi-disciplinary team to address essential issues related to the adoption & deployment of smart grid concepts along with Distributed Energy Resources (DERs), including storage and the distribution network for its efficient & reliable operation.

U.S.-India Clean Energy Finance initiative (USICEF)
Countries: United States
Type of collaboration: public-private
Funding amount: $20-40 million USD
The initiative will raise and deploy up to $20 million in project preparation support, to be sourced equally from U.S. foundations and the Government of India, to solar power projects under consideration for financial support from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC).

U.S.-India Catalytic Solar Finance Program (CSFP)
Countries: United States
Type of collaboration: public-private
Funding amount: $40 million – $1 billion USD
The CSFP will raise and deploy up to $40 million in high-impact catalytic capital, to be sourced equally from U.S. foundations and the Government of India, in support of investments into India’s solar market, with a particular focus on the off-grid and solar rooftop markets that will benefit poor communities.

UK-India Joint Virtual Clean Energy Centre
Countries: United Kingdom
Type of collaboration: public-public
Funding amount: $10 million USD
The Centre, which will be delivered through the RCUK Energy Programme involving the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and other research councils, brings together leading experts from the UK and India with complementary expertise and experience to address technical challenges associated with rapidly growing solar generation in both countries.

Indo-UK Cooperation Programme on “Energy demand reduction in the built environment”
Countries: United Kingdom
Type of collaboration: public-public
Funding amount: $3.8 million USD
UK’s EPSRC to evolve a joint India and UK research programme to help reduce energy demand in UK and India’s built stock, both new major urban developments’ currently being planned and existing built stock.

International cooperation projects
Countries: Brazil
Type of collaboration: public-public
Projects ongoing:

  1. Wastewater to Bioenergy
  2. Integrated Biorefinery Approach towards production of sustainable fuel and chemical from Algal biobased systems
  3. Biorefining of sugarcane bagasse for production of bioethanol and value-added products

Clean Energy Intiatives
Countries: Germany
Type of collaboration: public-public

  1. UNDP/GEF assisted Project on “Scale Up of Access to Clean Energy for Rural Productive Uses”;
  2. DFID assisted Project on Energy Access Policy Fund (EAPF);
  3. GIZ assisted Project on “Green Energy Corridor (GEC), Integration of Renewable Energies (I-RE) and Access to Energy in Rural Areas (ACCESS);
  4. US assisted project on “Promoting Energy Access through Clean Energy” (“PEACE”),