India and the UK will focus on innovation in smart technology to reduce power sector losses and clean energy finance for bolstering bilateral energy ties. In the first India-UK ‘Energy for Growth’ Dialogue in New Delhi on Friday, Power and Renewable Energy Minister Piyush Goyal and UK’s Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Greg Clark agreed on priority areas for further collaboration in the energy sector.
The agreed areas include innovation in smart technology to improve performance and reduce losses in India’s power sector, financing for clean energy; decentralised energy scale up and sustainability; and support to states in renewable energy planning and deployment, the power ministry said in a release. The two countries will also focus on work to accelerate deployment of renewable energy and its integration with the grid; support for increased energy efficiency; and enhanced energy access for strengthening ties.
The dialogue takes forward the commitment of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UK Prime Minister Theresa May for an enhanced energy partnership between the countries, the release said. The two countries had signed an MoU on cooperation in the energy sector during the visit of Prime Minister Modi to the UK in November 2015. On April 4, the two countries reaffirmed their commitment to anchor investment up to 120 million pound each in a joint fund which aims to raise around 500 million pound, and has the potential to unlock much more in the future.
It was announced that the fund will focus its initial investments on India’s rapidly growing energy and renewables market. India and the UK also recognised the importance of combating climate change and mobilising finance from a variety of sources, instruments and channels to mitigate its effects alongside generating economic opportunities.
They welcomed the work of the G20 Green Finance Study Group promoting green finance encouraged the issuance of green bonds, among other forms of green finance. Both Ministers appreciated the strides taken by Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL), which has established operations in UK by investing around 7 million pound in seven energy saving projects after intense technical and financial due diligence. The projects are in operation for more than two years and have been yielding dividends, it said.
The ministers also noted the interest expressed by the UK for replicating successful LED business model (UJALA-Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LED’s for All) of India in the UK. India and UK share a strong investment and financial partnership, wherein the UK is the third largest FDI investor in India and India is the third largest source of FDI projects in the UK.
Clark’s visit is the latest in a series of high-level exchanges between the UK and India. This week, UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond led a trade delegation to India. Hammond was in India for the UK-India Economic and Financial Dialogue (EFD), which included discussions on infrastructure, finance and business engagement.