Amidst the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war and its impact on the global energy scenario, the European Commissioner for Energy, Kadri Simson is heading to New Delhi later this week, for her first visit.
The visit starting September 7 signals the European Union’s strong engagement with India in the energy sector, stated an official statement from Brussels. India and the EU have completed 60 years of diplomatic engagement.
Agenda of talks
The focus will be on deepening cooperation between the EU and India on ‘greener’ energy mix. The bilateral talks between the visiting Commissioner Simson and the relevant ministers, International Solar Alliance and other stakeholders will be addressing issues related to green hydrogen, grid integration, energy efficiency, renewable energy, including solar and offshore wind; grid integration, including on nearly zero energy buildings; cold chain, as well as sustainable financing among other issues.
Her visit comes close on the heels of the G20 energy transition ministers’ meeting in Indonesia. Speaking on her upcoming travel to India, Commissioner Simson highlighted the global energy crisis and challenges faced because of climate change. And expressed hope to deepen cooperation with India in various areas like renewable hydrogen, solar energy, energy efficiency and offshore wind.
“We are facing a global energy crisis, as well as the enormous challenge of climate change. The clean energy transition provides a key to addressing both and with its vast renewable resources; India has a strategic role to play.”
Along with Minister of Power and New and Renewable Energy RK Singh, she will inaugurate the first EU-India Green Hydrogen Forum on September 8. This was decided last December during the India-EU Energy Panel meeting. And the important aspect of this forum will be to exchange best practices, and the policies related to the role of hydrogen in energy systems. And to also discuss the existing and upcoming hydrogen projects in India, clean hydrogen production and need for certification frameworks and more.
She will also participate in an event organized jointly by the EU and Ministry of New and Renewable Energy in cooperation with Solar Power Europe and industry body CII. There will be speakers from both sides and will talk about the role the two sides can play in manufacturing.
In 2016, the two sides set up a Clean Energy and Climate Partnership and have been working closely on many aspects including efforts to speed up deployment of renewable energy, to collaborate on smart grid and storage technology.
Amidst the fear of harsh winters, the European Union Council has allowed transactions needed for Russian state-owned companies to sell oil to third countries. This means now Russian state-owned companies: Sovcomflot, Rosneft, and Gazprom Neft, can conclude deals with Europeans on the transport of oil to third countries.
Earlier this year on February 24, the US and European nations had imposed stringent sanctions on Russia following the troops being sent into Ukraine. Despite the criticism from the West, India has continued to engage with Moscow for business and has been importing crude oil from there to meet India’s growing energy needs.
According to reports, Russia overtook Saudi Arabia to become India’s second-biggest supplier of oil in May this year.