UK-India agree joint plan on smart power, renewable energy

UK-India agree joint plan on smart power, renewable energy
Courtesy: Visoot Uthairam | Moment via Getty Images

A new Smart Power, Renewable Energy and Storage programme has been launched to complement ongoing joint efforts by the UK and India to promote efficient power distribution, industrial energy efficiency, electric vehicles, solar and offshore wind generation and energy storage.

The plan was agreed recently at the third UK-India Energy for Growth Dialogue between Indian Minister for Power and New & Renewable Energy Raj Kumar Singh and UK Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng. The UK’s Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) said the ministers endorsed the "ambitious" forward action plan, with the first action on this agenda being to initiate the joint programme on Smart Power, Renewable Energy and Storage.

Kwarteng said: “As we gear up to host the UN COP26 summit next month, today the UK and India have made important progress in outlining how this deep partnership can continue to deliver green growth for both countries powered by clean energy.

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“Supporting the move to clean energy is a shared priority, and our new joint programme on smart power, renewable energy and storage will help to increase investment in renewable projects, while creating new high skilled jobs across both nations as we build back greener.”

In addition to providing a springboard for India’s renewable energy market in areas such as offshore wind, BEIS said the agreed joint programme will help to create digital solutions for power distribution companies, improving industrial energy efficiency, and boosting electric mobility in ways that maximise business opportunities and investments.

Both ministers also discussed how COP26, to be held in Glasgow between November 1 and 12, is an opportunity to show global leadership on clean energy, including the expected launch of the UK and Indian government’s Global Green Grids – One Sun One World One Grid Initiative, by delegations of UK and India.

“This initiative will bring together an international coalition of national governments, financial organisations, and power system operators to accelerate the construction of new infrastructure needed to deliver a massive scale-up of secure, reliable and affordable power, such as modern, flexible grids, charging points, and electricity interconnectors,” BEIS said.

During the dialogue last week, both sides highlighted India’s advancement of solar energy to power the Indian Railways, welcoming close collaboration through the India-led International Solar Alliance, which aims to mobilise more than $1 trillion of investments in solar energy by 2030.

Alex Ellis, British High Commissioner to India, said: “Action on climate change is a central pillar of the 2030 Roadmap agreed by Prime Ministers Modi and Johnson.

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“The Energy Dialogue today advanced our joint agenda to develop clean energy to support sustainable growth for both our economies.”

The ministers highlighted the importance of a “strong, home-grown renewable energy sector” being the cornerstone for building a secure energy system.

“Decarbonisation also provides excellent opportunities to create green jobs, champion gender inclusivity, and drive economic growth across both India and the UK,” BEIS said.

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