The need for skilled workers to enable this transition to clean energy technologies is one place where India and Germany can cooperate more deeply, according to Social Democratic Party
The absence of a free trade agreement (FTA) has been posing hurdles for German investment in the renewable energy (RE) sector in India, some key members of the German government told Down To Earth in early March this year at the German federal parliament.
DTE visited the parliament on March 2 as part of an Indian delegation to discuss energy-related matters. During the visit, the members of the parliament mirrored the German Chancellor’s conversations with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in late February. The Indian delegation was particularly briefed about the challenges faced by Germany while transitioning out of a fossil fuel-dependent economy.
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The common goal of both countries should be to reach out to each other to work on the areas of energy, according to the Social Democratic Party’s members of the Subcommittee on International Climate and Energy Policy.
They believed that RE is the way forward. Modules and photo voltaic refurbishment, in particular, are common interests to both countries. The need for skilled workers to enable this transition to clean energy technologies is one place where India and Germany can cooperate more deeply, the members said.
Member of the German parliament Karamba Diaby also highlighted the
importance of engaging women, especially in rural areas, within the RE sector.
On May 2, 2022, India and Germany were in talks to launch an Indo-German Partnership for green and sustainable development. Under the partnership, an assistance of €10 billion will be provided till 2030 under the Joint Declaration of Intent (JDI) signed by both countries.
During the discussion, sources from the German parliament brought up the impending negotiations between the European Union and India on implementing an FTA to ease German businesses investing in India.
The FTA could benefit the setting up of RE enterprises. Without an FTA, investment and accessing Indian markets become difficult, they indicated.
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Economic clusters providing an operational framework and necessary infrastructure could be more useful than offering heavy tax reductions currently offered by the Indian government in their negotiations.
Assurance of a non-stop energy supply and conducive policies to start manufacturing would also work in favour of German investment in RE projects, the politicians discussed.
Particularly, the setting up of medium size entities that can be scaled later based on the right conditions that support their growth could be a start, the politicians recommended, in reference to investment in renewables.
In an effort to increase cooperation with India, on February 25, 2023, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz visited the country to advance negotiations about a FTA and Investment Protection between the EU and India.
He addressed important questions such as the securing of food and energy supply chains for developing countries through India’s G20 presidency.
A source close to the German Association of the Energy and Water Industries specified that Germany was looking at importing a significant share of its fuel needs for the long term and was not keen on going the energy-independence route pursued by India.
The source indicated that Germans believe in energy sovereignty and that energy-independence was rather a French approach to serving their energy requirements.
The source underlined that as long as fuel is reliable, cheap, and without supply chain hassles, it does not need to be entirely produced on home grounds. However, a sound proportion of domestic production has positive ramifications on the resilience of the energy system and the security of supply as a whole.
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