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US-GE launches rural electrification programme in India

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Mar 23 (UNI) In an effort that will bring electricity to thousands in rural India, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the General Electric Company (GE) have officially launched a programme to promote commercially viable rural electrification in the country, using renewable energy technologies.

The programme was launched here last evening at a function where US Deputy Chief of Mission Robert O Blake was also present.

Under the programme, USAID will contribute up to 600,000 dollars, while GE and its worldwide network of experts and partners will invest up to 2.7 million dollars indirect and indirect funding.

The partnership, under the USAID's Global Development Alliance initiative, will span a two-year period and provide up to four village clusters in India access to clean energy through GE power generation technologies, which utilise biomass, wind and solar resources.

Karnataka and Maharashtra have been targeted as the first states for implementation. The work is expected to commence mid-2006.

''The US Mission in India is proud to be associated with this innovative effort to meet the energy needs of rural Indians through public-private partnerships,'' Mr Blake said.

GE President Ferdinando Beccalli-Falco said: ''This landmark event is further evidence of GE's commitment to assist the government of India in its plan to provide 'Power for All' by 2012.'' UNI YJ VD RS1849

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