India and the EU Commit to Energy Connectivity Partnership

Last Saturday, India and the European Union agreed to bring the EU-India Roadmap 2025 in action and foster new synergies to jointly contribute to a safer, greener, cleaner, more digital, resilient and stable world. The day saw two key events- ‘India-EU Leader’s Meeting’ and ‘India-EU Business Roundtable’- being held simultaneously so that alliances in climate, digital and healthcare, could be ensured.

Experts predict that India’s demand for energy will increase more than that of any other country over the next two decades, directly increasing GHG emissions. While India has been adding large scale renewable power to its energy composition as part of its commitments; the deployment of the same, a sustainable and just phase out of coal and improved financial health of distribution companies are some necessary next steps to be made in the context of energy sector. While the declining cost of solar PV and the volume of solar installations in the country are reassuring, a lasting transition to RE away from fossil fuel, especially coal, requires decreased costs of storage as well.

Both the EU and India are on pathway to decarbonize, and the sustainable measures agreed upon by both on Saturday are aimed at exploiting their shared aspirations and abilities. India recently announced an ambitious target of setting up 450 GW of renewable energy by 2030 and is working on a roadmap to achieve this target. The EU has led many of the early efforts to build demand for wind and solar PV and experience from these can be instrumental for catering to India’s needs for clean energy generation for clean development. India has also announced its INR 1500 crore, towards renewable energy development and National Hydrogen Mission. The EU’s experience from its Hydrogen Alliance will be instrumental for India.

The India-EU Connectivity Partnership held on Saturday had the following goals for establishing energy connectivity:

  • Contribute to the implementation of the India-EU Clean Energy and Climate Partnership through promoting a market-driven transformation towards reliable and sustainable energy solutions, notably renewable energy, underpinned by modernised and efficient and smart electricity systems, including through national and regional level interconnections.
  • Promote regional inter-connections to increase the hosting capacity of the electricity system for large-scale renewable energy production, promote investments in energy efficiency improvements and the deployment of renewables, including offshore (and coastal) wind energy. Leverage the potential of EIB and other EU Member States’ institutions for bringing expertise and finance to complement regulatory cooperation measures and support possible projects.
  • Pursue EU engagement with public and private sector stakeholders on the financing of the first wind farms, helping to develop further a regulatory framework to support India’s target of 5GW offshore wind generation capacity spanning sites in the Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal. Advance cooperation in newer areas floating solar, offshore wind, hydrogen and energy storage.

After the virtual meeting, both India and the EU are planning for public–private partnerships (PPPs) in EU eco-city projects involving public lighting, waste-to-energy project, rooftop solar facility in Bengaluru, Bhubaneswar, Chennai, Mumbai and Pune, Italian private investment in Gujarat wind power, Germany’s euro 1.7bn investment for 7700km transmission lines, EIB-SBI euro 25m equity for renewables and energy efficiency and joint research projects on smart grids and storage, and also work with International Solar Alliance.

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