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U.S.-India State and Urban Initiative

This initiative aims to expand U.S.-India energy cooperation by strengthening direct engagement with India’s powerful states

Key Objectives

The CSIS U.S.-India State and Urban Initiative works towards the goals of promoting energy security and energy sector reform through direct engagement between U.S. and Indian subnational entities; establishing close, sustainable working relationships between Indian subnational officials with their U.S. counterparts, civil society organizations and the private sector; and providing a platform to facilitate innovative and promising subnational energy partnerships between India and the U.S.

The Secretariat of the initiative is led by the Wadhwani Chair in U.S.-India Policy Studies and the Energy Security and Climate Change Program.


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Background

India’s lofty goals for building modern, reliable, affordable and cleaner electric power infrastructure and services require strong support from India’s powerful state governments. Catalyzing sustainable growth, helping Indian states strengthen their electric power grids, and increasing investment in diverse, affordable and environmentally sound energy, therefore, requires the active participation of states. A coherent U.S. strategy to engage India’s states can play a strongly supportive role in helping India meet its own energy goals, catalyze strategic commercial and academic ties, and deepen the bilateral partnership.

The U.S. private sector continues to be a technology leader in the energy sector. Many U.S. states are actively transforming their electric power, transportation, industrial and residential sectors to incorporate the latest energy technologies and services to increase benefits to the consumer, impact on the environment, and overall economic efficiency. U.S. states – government as well as research universities and the private sector - are well positioned to reach out beyond their borders to engage with subnational entities around the world to achieve common goals, share best practices and insight, and in some cases, find new investment opportunities. In many cases, Indian states welcome this engagement to meet the ambitious goals they are setting to revitalize their energy markets. This initiative will facilitate cross-collaboration between and among state and city governments, companies, research institutions, and universities who align as natural partners for India’s top energy reform-oriented states.

Engagement with Indian States and U.S. States

Through the initiative, the secretariat has engaged stakeholders from across Indian and U.S. states. The secretariat has engaged with senior state-level energy officials from Indian states to gauge the states’ energy priorities. In the U.S., CSIS has engaged with various energy and international trade offices both at the state and city level, along with local universities, civil society organizations and private companies, to participate in the initiative. Through continued robust engagement with both U.S. and Indian partners, CSIS will provide a platform to facilitate new collaborative energy opportunities.

CSIS, in partnership with the Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation, hosted the first-ever U.S.-India Subnational Energy Workshop in New Delhi from November 1-3, 2017. The event brought together over 100 participants over three days including 10 representatives of Indian states and 12 representatives of U.S. states to discuss common challenges in deploying technologies, creating policies and management of the grid of the future. The initiative partnered with the U.S. embassy in New Delhi, American Chamber of Commerce in India, Azure Power, and Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited to execute this event.

In addition, CSIS has also hosted eight U.S.-India energy cooperation events in seven different U.S. states including Washington, D.C., Massachusetts, Arizona, California, Georgia, Florida and South Carolina. These events were stakeholder meetings focused on highlighting the current scope of work being undertaken between the two countries in the energy sector, and on creating a platform to discuss a roadmap to new subnational partnerships.

CSIS welcomes new partners including U.S. and Indian state governments, companies, research institutions, universities and civil society organizations, to get involved in the U.S.-India State and Urban Initiative.

This project is made possible with the support of the Bureau of Energy Resources at the U.S. Department of State and the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation.