India and IRENA Strengthen Ties as Country Plans Major Renewables and Hydrogen Push
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has signed a strategic partnership agreement with IRENA on 16 January 2022, signalling its intent to further strengthen its collaboration with IRENA in the field of Renewable Energy. The agreement was signed by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) Secretary, Mr. Indu Shekhar Chaturvedi and IRENA Director-General Francesco La Camera during the 12th IRENA Assembly.
India installed 13 gigawatts (GW) of renewables in 2021 and has grown its capacity by over 53 GW in the last five years, positioning it as one of the fastest growing renewable energy adopters in the world. With massive renewable energy potential, India has an aim to become a major producer of green hydrogen to support the decarbonisation of its industrial economy. According to IRENA, hydrogen will account for around 12 per cent of total energy supply in a 1.5°C world by 2050.
“India’s commitment for the cause of renewables is very well known and our record speaks for itself,” said Secretary Mr. Indu Shekhar Chaturvedi. He added, “We hope to make full use of the strategic partnership agreement and draw fully upon the expertise of IRENA in the area of renewable energy”
“India is a renewable energy powerhouse and a country whose energy transition actions speak louder than their words,” said Francesco La Camera IRENA Director-General. “As a key global actor in the shift to renewables and a founding member of IRENA, India has played a major role in international energy cooperation. This partnership represents a new chapter in an already strong relationship as the country looks to advance its transition and capitalise on emerging new technologies.”
Under the partnership, IRENA will facilitate knowledge sharing from India on scaling-up renewable energy and clean energy technologies as well as support India’s efforts to advance cost-effective decarbonisation through the development of domestic green hydrogen. The two will work closely to assess the potential role green hydrogen can play both as an enabler of the transition in India and as a new source of national energy exports. India has initiated the process for developing and launching a National Green Hydrogen Mission to enable cost competitive green hydrogen production, storage, distribution, and application technologies.
Permanent Representative of India to IRENA Ambassador Sunjay Sudhir said: “India is privileged to be among one of the few countries IRENA has signed Strategic Partnership Agreement with. As a responsible member of the community of nations India has always played leading role in sustainable development having initiated the International Solar Alliance in 2015 which now has 102 signatories. Furthermore, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has announced the National Hydrogen Mission recently to accelerate plans to generate carbon free fuel from renewables.
“All these initiatives and policy decisions have increased the synergy which India could achieve with IRENA, continued Ambassador Sudhir. “I am very confident that the Strategic Partnership Agreement being signed today between will further strengthen our work together in moving towards a greener and cleaner world.”
The country is also eyeing significant offshore wind capacity development among other technology priorities. With innovation as a strong focus of joint efforts, IRENA and India will collaborate to host an innovation day in India, offering an opportunity for countries to showcase successes and learn from each other’s experiences.
IRENA will also facilitate long-term national energy planned towards the achievement of ambitious long-term developmental targets in the sectors of housing, rural electrification, renewable energy, assured electricity supply and reduction in oil import dependence, among others.