U.S. / India Clean Energy Leadership Group: Volume 3

Engaging States on Decarbonization


Welcome to the official newsletter of the U.S./India Clean Energy Leadership Group (CELG)—a partnership between U.S. and Indian states that are leading the way to decarbonized electric power systems.

This newsletter is a resource for member states to learn more about common challenges and opportunities faced by both U.S. and Indian states, and to provide insight from outside experts on U.S. and Indian states’ collaboration.

We welcome your feedback at njain@csis.org.

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UMass Amherst and National Institute of Wind Energy, India sign Agreement to Facilitate Collaborative Research

CSIS facilitated the signing of a memorandum of agreement (MoA) for inter-institutional cooperation between The University of Massachusetts Amherst and the National Institute of Wind Energy (NIWE) India. The goal of this partnership is to establish mutually beneficial collaborative research projects and facilitate the exchange of faculty, staff, and students for short- and long-term visits for the purpose of research, teaching, and presentation of seminars. The MoA is the first step of a larger process of building strong links between the State of Tamil Nadu and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and Indian states. Massachusetts and Tamil Nadu are natural partners due to their vibrant energy economies, influential research institutions, and robust private sectors. 

West Bengal and National Renewable Energy Lab Decarbonization Dialogue

On December 10, 2021, CSIS hosted a discussion with representatives from the West Bengal Power Department and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). This discussion featured high-level participation from both parties to exchange ideas related to strategy and policy in clean energy and decarbonization strategies. Representatives from the two parties agreed to exchange knowledge on the following areas:

  • Swapping coal power plants with renewable energy
  • Strengthening state-level policymaking
  • Capacity building


Outlook for Wind Power

by Chelsea Jean-Michel (Wind Energy Analyst) and Atin Jain (Senior Associate), BloombergNEF 

What is the outlook for wind development in the United States and in India?

United States—2020 and 2021 were record years for U.S. onshore wind build, but we expect to see a drop in installations in the next few years tied to tax credit phaseouts under current policy and bottlenecks related to transmission and permitting. This year, we are anticipating 8.9GW of onshore wind build compared to over 13GW installed in 2021 and 2020. Without an extension to tax credits, 2022-25 onshore wind build could total 31.5GW. For offshore wind, we expect to see some of the first major projects commissioned in 2023, with installations really taking off in 2024. We anticipate cumulative offshore wind installations will reach 5.7GW by 2025 and 25.8GW by 2030.

India—We expect 3.1GW of new onshore wind projects to get commissioned in India in 2022 – more than double the 2021’s total of 1.5GW. In 2022-25, a total of 12.7GW of new onshore capacity is projected to come up.

Offshore wind power development is still at a very early stage in India. The country’s first commercial offshore wind farm may not get commissioned before 2025.

Which states are leading?

United States—For 2020 onshore wind, U.S. states in the wind belt, including Texas, Wyoming, and Iowa, led installations. As congestion becomes more of an issue in Texas, we expect to see build diversify outside of the state. For offshore wind, New York leads the pack in terms of contracted projects, followed by New Jersey, then Massachusetts. North Carolina also has one of the nation's highest offshore wind targets of 8GW by 2040 but has yet to contract any capacity.

India—Tamil Nadu and Gujarat are the two Indian states with highest cumulative installed wind capacity in India. Nearly half of the current pipeline of under-construction projects are located in Gujarat, and Tamil Nadu accounts for another 20 percent. But due to a high volume of projects being built in Gujarat, IPPs are finding it difficult to secure land and grid connectivity in that state. This is making other states like Karnataka, Rajasthan, and Madhya Pradesh appealing to the project developers, as these states offer easier land and grid availability for now.

What are the obstacles to meeting capacity targets?

United States—Some of the major obstacles to wind development are securing construction consent and interconnection agreements. Long wait times and high costs to secure an interconnection agreement can also hinder projects. More recently, we have seen impacts of supply chain constraints on project costs and development timelines, which we anticipate will also slow down build in the near term.

India—Land and grid availability challenges often delay onshore wind farm construction in India. Over 20 percent of the capacity won in auctions in the last five years has already been cancelled, mainly due to these two reasons. A rise in project capex in the last 12-18 months, due to a surge in commodity prices, has also led to cancellation of a few projects.

Where are areas of potential collaboration between the United States and India on developing wind?

The U.S.'s learnings of early-stage offshore wind development to bring down costs can also help Indian policy makers to better design their capacity auction mechanisms and offshore leasing rules. The U.S. experience of using digital technologies, weather forecasting, and other best practices to manage renewable energy intermittency can also help India to integrate higher share of renewable energy in its power system. Another aspect is the supply chain. India is one of the global wind supply chain hubs. While the United States has some wind turbine component manufacturing facilities, frictionless trade between the two countries could help the supply chain deliver at cheaper prices, cutting project costs.


Wind power is growing in both India and the United States. But specific states are leading the way.

Source: Indian Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, U.S. Department of Energy


New York announced plans to double its energy storage target to 6GW by 2030

Illinois legislature approved a plan committing the state to a 100% carbon free electric power grid by 2045

Telangana creates a state green fund to improve the state’s forest cover

Himachal Pradesh aims to add 10,000 MW of green energy capacity by 2030

Delhi proposes mandating electric vehicle adoption by cab aggregators


1.44 GW

Installed renewables capacity in Assam


Grid distribution losses as of 2020, compared to the national average of 21 percent.


Feeder segregation, as of 2020.

0.13 GW

Installed solar photovoltaic rooftop
Innovative Policies
  • Assam is one of four states to have set up an energy saving target for municipal services, all specifically for energy efficient street lighting.
  • Assam is one of six states to have developed a state energy calculator for energy planning. The State Energy Calculator 2050 is a scenario-building tool, which generates the energy demand and supply scenarios for the state up to 2050. These scenarios are generated considering the economic growth, structural changes, and adoption of energy-efficient technologies.
  • Assam has recently published a draft of its Electric Vehicle Policy of Assam, 2021, promoting electric vehicle (EV) technology, charging infrastructure, and research and development centers. The state aims to covert 100 percent of their public transport bus fleet and all government vehicles into electric by 2030. The policy also offers attractive incentives.
  • Prior to its electric vehicle policy, Assam published the Assam Solar Energy Policy in 2018.

Key Achievements

  • Assam has achieved 100 percent electrification in 2019.
  • Assam is ranked “B+” in the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy’s State Rooftop Solar Attractiveness Index, 2019. It comes it at 19th place, out of 31 Indian states and union territories.
  • Assam Power Distribution Company Limited has partnered with Jakson Group through a power purchase agreement to develop a 0.07GW solar power plant in Amguri, Assam.
  • Eleven small energy parks have been set up at various colleges, schools, and institutes in Assam.

Challenges Ahead

  • Floods, insurgency, and difficult terrain have created hurdles for the swift implementation of renewable energy policies in Assam. Many remote regions in Assam would benefit from non-conventional electrification sources, like renewable energy.
  • Assam is behind in its target to generate 0.68GW of renewable energy by 2022.
  • The energy requirement for the state is primarily dependent on thermal gas-based plants and large hydro plants. The role of renewable energy is limited and needs further encouragement.

Clean Energy Leadership Group

State-level officials are playing a key role in delivering on the ambitious decarbonization targets in India and the United States. Through collaborative efforts, decisions makers in both countries can accelerate the clean energy transition by mobilizing to share new ideas and lessons learned from their policy experiences.

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The Clean Energy Leadership Group (CELG) is a collaborative initiative between the CSIS Wadhwani Chair in U.S.-India Studies and the CSIS Energy Security and Climate Change Program.

CELG is made possible by the generous support of the SED Fund.