Both India and Germany are keenly aware of the importance of battling climate change and protecting the environment. As Gerd Müller, Germany’s Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, put it, “Through investment in renewable energies we are putting a brake on climate change and giving the poorest of the poor access to energy. German companies have the know-how that India needs. Investment in renewable energies is not only a way to mitigate harmful greenhouse gas emissions, but also to create jobs and income for young people in India.”
In 2006, the Indo-German Energy Forum (IGEF) was set up to promote cooperation in the field of energy. This high-level forum meets yearly to discuss energy-related issues. The year 2015 saw the Indo-German Energy Programme (IGEN) kick off. Its main agenda is to improve energy efficiency and integrate renewable energy into the power grid. Again in 2015, an MoU on an Indo- German Solar Partnership was signed, through which India gets concessional loans of €1 billion over five years for solar projects. The German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) and KfW Development Bank jointly implement these projects on behalf of the German government. Financing and expertise from Germany will help reduce 30 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions over a period of 25 years!
Out of India’s 175-GW renewable energy target, solar energy makes up 100GW. In 2013, the Maharashtra Power Generation Corporation Ltd (MAHAGENCO), with financial assistance from KfW, set up a 125-MW solar photovoltaic power plant in Sakri, Maharashtra. At the time of commissioning, it was one of the largest PV plants in Asia. Today, it supplies 220,000 households with solar energy, resulting in the reduction of CO2 emissions equivalent to taking 40,000 cars off the road annually! This project marked the beginning of German support in the solar energy sector and formed the foundation for the Indo-German Solar Partnership.