60 Years of Indo-German Development Cooperation (2018 | Issue 2)

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Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru

Image: © GIZ

Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru

India’s rapidly growing population and economy has substantially upped the demand for electricity. In response, the Indian government has set its sights on renewable energy. Solar, wind and hydro energy are contributing a great deal to create additional power for the country. Germany is actively supporting India’s renewable energy target of 175GW by 2022 through technical and financial assistance. This is great news, since it has great expertise in this field and converts more solar energy from roofs into electricity than any other country in the world! What’s Up, Germany? brings you Indo-German action in the energy sector.

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.”

Synergies for Energy

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!

Sunny Reflections

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.

Energetic India

One of the most pressing needs in India is the extension and modernisation of electricity grids. After all, people can only access clean energy if there is a stable and efficient transmission network in place. That’s why it’s important to expand the network and integrate solar, hydro and wind power into the grids. That’s the objective of the Green Energy Corridors (GEC) project: to build a “green corridor” or transmission lines that will transfer clean energy to others parts of the country. Since 2013, GIZ has been providing technical cooperation and KfW has given loans worth €1.15 billion for this programme, which will supply millions of Indians with clean electricity while reducing network losses and improving the carbon footprint.

Solar Energy