Solar energy research institute launched

IIT-B part of venture involving Indian, US scientists

Solar Energy Research Institute for India and the United States (SERIIUS), a collaboration between academia and industry of the two countries, was officially launched Saturday.

The institute that includes IIT Bombay scientisis will come up with an innovative, low-cost and effective solution to energy needs.

The Indian government, through the department of science and technology, and the US department of energy have each committed $25 million over a period of five years, while a group of 30 companies from India and US will give another $25 million.

The three research thrust areas of the centre will be sustainable photovoltaics, establishment of multi-scale concentrated solar power systems and solar energy integration.

Kamanio Chattopadhyay, co-founder of SERIIUS, called it a "programme without borders", which "may lead to a paradigm shift in solar energy technology".

The lead institution of SERIIUS here will be Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore, and National Renewable Energy Laboratory in the US.

Industry and academic partners include General Electric, Hindustan Petroleum, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University and IIT Madras.

The centre will be a virtual platform for interaction and working jointly on projects.

IIT Bombay is part of the research thrust leadership for the initiative.

"Recent research shows India's needs can be met with renewable energy, of which solar can be a big part. We are happy to be associated with this initiative," said its director Devang Khakhar, adding that IIT Bombay was already involved in solar energy research through its National Centre for Photovoltaic Research and Education.

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