India to work with Germany to tackle energy crisis, diversify and add scale

By the end of this year Germany’s gas imports from Russia are down to zero compared to last year, where Germany was dependent with 60% of its gas from Russia. This has pushed the EU Economic powerhouse to search for alternatives.

India to work with Germany to help deal with energy crisis
The largest EU economy is anticipated to contract in 2023, as gas and electricity prices continue to skyrocket.

“There is no smoke without fire”- this phrase is getting an entire new dimension for the Germans this winter. The cold wave has hit Europe with a vengeance with temperatures falling at a record 10-year low. Germany is looking run down overall, as its transport system is marred with delays and technical disruptions. 

India is set to work together with Germany on achieving the goals set for Green Hydrogen earlier this year by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. “Germany will give technology, India will bring scalability and cost effectiveness,” said a senior officer.

The largest EU economy is anticipated to contract in 2023, as gas and electricity prices continue to skyrocket. According to the Ifo Institute for Economic Research, the Munich-based think tank, the ongoing energy crisis as a result of the war in Ukraine is “wreaking havoc” on the German economy and they project it could lead to a 0.3 percent drop in GDP next year.

Germany’s particular energy crisis is due to its traditional over-dependency on Russian gas, which was at a whopping 60% of its gas requirements before the war. The economic powerhouse has been at the forefront of looking for renewable alternatives and diversifying its energy mix. It is as dependent on energy imports, like India.

In the first half of 2022, Germany’s overall energy mix comprised 46.4 percent renewables (including wind and solar), 29.4 percent coal (hard and lignite), 14.6 percent natural gas, and 5.6 percent nuclear. 

Now, Germany has no choice but to diversify and take timely decisions, several of which have been done in this month itself. Both houses of the parliament have voted to keep Germany’s three remaining nuclear power plants operational until mid-April 2023 to help bridge the country’s energy shortage; a thing the current ruling coalition Green party is not happy about but the public attitude is changing. In a recent poll, 41 percent of Germans support extending the plants’ operations, while a further 41 percent support long-term use of the plants. 

But all is not gloom-ridden for Germany as it is talking about Green Hydrogen- its new super hero. Green hydrogen (GH2) is the next big thing and is touted to be the clean alternative for highly carbonized, fuel heavy sectors such as cars, aviation, shipping and steel and glass manufacturing. German development minister Svenja Schulze has announced that Germany will contribute €550 million towards a new global green hydrogen economy. Over time, the funding will rise to €2.5 billion.

India’s Role in Green Hydrogen Economy

India is a key partner to Germany for this. Last month, India jointly agreed upon concrete development projects to the tune of EUR 1 billion for 2023.  About India’s role, Svenja Schulzhad said, “India is a key partner for us in mastering difficult tasks that we as a global community must face. We have now agreed how we will concretely bring our new partnership for green and sustainable development to life. To this effect, we jointly launch projects to expand renewable energies or take care of climate-friendly public transport. The difficult negotiations at the world climate conference have clearly shown that we must make concrete progress with prominent partners like India to achieve something for climate protection quickly and substantively.”

Financial Express Online reported earlier this year, German Chancellor Scholz announced a support of at least 10 billion euros by 2030 under the umbrella of the new Indo-German partnership for green and sustainable development. This was now underpinned in the government negotiations on development policy this week, with concrete agreements and projects. 

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First published on: 29-12-2022 at 20:03 IST
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