ROME/NEW DELHI: India and Italy have agreed to explore development of green hydrogen, setting up renewable energy corridors, and joint projects in the natural gas sector as the two nations sought to strengthen partnership in energy transition.
A joint statement issued after Prime Minister Narendra Modi held the first in-person meeting with his Italian counterpart Mario Draghi on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Rome, said the two leaders agreed to encourage joint investments of Indian and Italian companies in energy transition-related fields.
They agreed to “initiate a dialogue to support the development and deployment of green hydrogen and related technologies in India” as well as to “consider working together to support a large size green corridor project in India to capitalize on India’s target to produce and integrate 450 GW of renewable energy by 2030.”
The two leaders also agreed to “encourage Italian and Indian companies to develop joint projects in natural gas sector, technological innovation for decarbonisation, smart cities and other specific domains (i.e.: electrification of urban public transport).”
India set an ambitious target of building capacity to generate 450 gigawatts of electricity from renewable sources such as solar and wind and more than double the share of natural gas in its energy basket to 15 per cent by 2030 as its transitions to a low carbon emitting economy.
It is also looking at scaling up hydrogen production from all sources, particularly green hydrogen as part of its energy transition pathway.
The joint statement said a joint working group established by the memorandum of understanding on cooperation in the field of energy, signed in Delhi on October 30, 2017, will be tasked to explore cooperation in areas such as smart cities; mobility, smart-grids.
The group will also explore cooperation in electricity distribution and storage solutions; gas transportation and promoting natural gas as a bridge fuel; integrated waste management (waste-to-wealth); and green energies (green hydrogen; CNG & LNG; bio-methane; bio-refinery; second-generation bio-ethanol; castor oil; bio-oil –waste to fuel).
The two leaders also agreed to “share useful information and experiences especially in the field of policy and regulatory framework, including possible means to facilitate the transition to cleaner and commercially viable fuels/technologies, long-term grid planning, incentivizing schemes for renewables and efficiency measures, as well as with regard to financial instruments for accelerating clean energy transition.”
They acknowledged significant progress in bilateral relations since the adoption of the Action Plan for an enhanced Partnership between India and Italy (2020-2024) on November 6, 2020.
They expressed their resolve to strengthen cooperation in the strategic sectors addressed by the action plan, including the cross-cutting issue of accelerating the clean energy transition to fight climate change, central to both the G20 Leaders Summit in Rome and the COP26 in Glasgow.
They also recalled the India-EU Leaders’ Meeting held in Porto on May 8, 2021, where the European Union and India highlighted the urgency of addressing the interdependent challenges of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution.
Th two leaders agreed to deepen cooperation for accelerating the deployment of renewable energy, including deployment of innovative renewable technologies such as offshore wind energy and exploiting the potential of green hydrogen, promoting energy efficiency, developing smart grids and storage technologies, modernizing the electricity market.
“In addition, both sides agreed on the utmost importance of cost effective integration of a growing amount of renewable energy into their respective power systems, as a key asset for an effective clean transition that generates jobs, GDP growth, reinforces universal energy access while eradicating energy poverty,” it said.
“In this perspective, the two Prime Ministers appreciated India’s resolve to deploy 450 GW of renewable energy by 2030 as well as Italy’s prompt ratification and active support to the International Solar Alliance, and agreed to launch a bilateral strategic partnership in the domain of energy transition.”
Such a partnership could build on existing bilateral mechanisms, including by giving new impetus to the cooperation on renewable energy and sustainable development between the Italian ministry of ecological transition and its Indian counterparts, namely ministry of new and renewable energy, ministry of power and ministry of petroleum and natural gas, it added.