Green partners: India must integrate with EU’s renewables supply chain, with access to its technology

Context: The Prime Minister’s visit to Germany, the first leg of his three-nation European tour, has , set the stage for an essential aspect of India’s development pathway.

Following talks, India’s foreign secretary identified the joint declaration of intent on green and sustainable development partnership as perhaps the most important one.

Both countries will create a Green Hydrogen Task Force and Germany will support India’s green growth plans with an additional development assistance of €10 billion by 2030.

What is the significance of these developments?

These developments need to be seen in a larger context.

The urgency of mitigating climate change is critical.

IPCC’s report in 2021 said that the global surface temperature was 1.09 degrees higher in 2011-20 than the 1850-1900 baseline. Its consequences are already evident.

India has contributed of cumulative greenhouse gas emissions between 1850 and 2017. However, with a coastline of about 7,516 km and 17% of the world’s population, it is already at the front line of the fallout of climate change. Therefore, it’s in India’s interest to enhance the use of non-fossil fuel sources for incremental economic growth.

Achieving Net Zero: At the Glasgow summit India outlined a net-zero commitment by 2070 as India’s overarching aim. It is to be realised through two interrelated steps by 2030 – a) India is to reduce its projected carbon emissions by 1 billion tonnes and b) 50% of its energy needs are to be sourced through renewables. This is where India’s goals tie in with the EU’s vision.

Having set a net-zero target by 2050, the EU is in the midst of a transition to sourcing most of its energy needs from renewables. Denmark, for example, has already sourced about 32% of its energy consumption in 2020 from renewables.

What is the long term potential of PM’s three-nation tour?

Renewables represent a menu of energy options. In the EU, wind and water provide most of the renewable electricity. This is being complemented by solar.

Advances in R&D are opening up more options, which also allows countries to de-risk their sourcing of renewable energy.

It is in this context that India’s PM three-nation tour holds significant long-term potential.

Way forward

India needs more than development assistance. It also has to be a part of the EU’s renewables supply chain with access to technology. This trip will lay the foundation.

Source: This post is based on the article “Green partners: India must integrate with EU’s renewables supply chain, with access to its technology” published in The Times of India on 3rd May 22.

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