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Great green energy hope for Germany and India
India's First Megawatt Scale Solar Power Plant of India. Photo: DPA

Great green energy hope for Germany and India

Published: 06 Sep 2012 10:10 GMT+02:00
Updated: 06 Sep 2012 10:10 GMT+02:00

As Germany and India mark 60 years of diplomatic relations, and with trade between the two countries booming, a huge opportunity is opening for the countries to cooperate in the renewable energy sector, argues Vijeta Rattani.

Trade between Germany and India is set to top €20 billion this year – no country of the European Union is more important to India for business.

As the Asian giant’s economy continues to grow it creates a seemingly unquenchable thirst for energy – much of which will have to come from renewable sources. And the government is serious about promoting the industry, creating huge opportunities for German industry, seen as a global leader in the field.

The numbers show how much is needed - there are more than 1.2 billion people living in India and a persistent economic growth rate of six to seven percent. The government’s budget report for 2012-13 says India needs to more than double its current installed generation capacity to over 300 gigawatts by 2017 to be able to provide the people and economy with what is needed.

The issue of climate change and reduction of carbon dioxide emissions is firmly on the agenda, leading Indian authorities to look to Germany for cooperation and inspiration.

There are many domestic Indian initiatives, such as the National Solar Mission, established in 2009 to try to tap into the Indian solar power potential of up to 5,000 TWh (terrawatt hours) per annum. And the Indian government is planning to encourage development and attract investment in the renewable field with tax breaks, loans, tax holidays and subsidies for foreign and domestic investors.

Renewable targets still far away

The country has already recorded the fastest growth in renewable energy investment globally, with a 62 percent rise, according to the Renewable Global Status Report, 2012. But renewable energy only accounts for about six percent of Indian power – a far cry from its 2020 target of at least 15 percent. It needs $50 billion in investment for the renewable sector over the coming five years – creating what could be huge opportunities for German firms.

Many German companies are already heavily involved in India, particular in such areas as mechanical engineering, chemicals, automobiles, trading and electric equipment. But there is still a long way to go in the renewable sector.

This is largely due to the fact that the idea of sustainability is not fully established in India, and many bureaucratic and infrastructure hurdles have to be cleared when setting up a company in this field.

Still, the fact is that India’s renewable sector is evolving and growing each day. And the country is making genuine efforts in undergoing a structural shift in its economy towards a green agenda.

Even though the sector can currently be described as volatile and unpredictable, Germany should focus on long-term adaptive and realistic high-tech business solutions to replicate its domestic green success story in India.

Germany is considered a world leader in the renewable sector, and businesses are finding their way to India’s market. It is the obvious partner for India in the energy sector – the two countries must adopt a strategic vision to enable the technical strengths of German science and business to work profitably in the Indian market.

Vijeta Rattani is a DAAD scholar associated with the Jean Monnet Centre for European Studies, Bremen University and PhD student at the Centre for European Studeis, Jawaharlal Nehru University, India.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

10:21 September 6, 2012 by smart2012
why then did Q cell go bankrupt? i do not understand. Well actually i know, cause all manufacturing will happen in India (and china).. and maybe u will keep a 100 people R&D in Germany, until R&D center will move to the booming market ie India..

If the political agenda is not starting to focus on the right prioritites ie how can we compete with countries like india/china/brazil/turkey (and not on greece), we will continue losing
11:43 September 6, 2012 by Hell low Kitty
That what i`am talking about !!

The australian heiress and billionaire Gina Rinehart is not a woman to pick a fight with and she is right.dump the salaries and wages at home like on the rival countries level work for two Dollars and the market will regulate itself.

Free Markets,Free Enterprise,Freedom for the Companies & Managers.

Because Companys are now personas with humann rights,let them be free.

(Singing) Freeeeeee !!!! Born Freeeeee !!!!!

right smart 2012 ?
09:27 September 8, 2012 by voidplay
This is how the thinking goes in most first world countries.

Let us buy raw materials on the cheap from the third world (using free market and WTO)

Let us sell the finished goods in the third world (using free market and WTO)

Let us keep all the jobs in our homeland because Obama or Merkel says so ( by subverting the free market principles)

I hope China becomes the new Japan so that as an Indian I can atleast get stuff cheap instead of having to jump over hoops and loops just to participate in my own economy (keep your nationalism to yourself).
10:56 November 8, 2012 by honeybeee
Currently it seems india and german's trading relationship connects really well , like german schaeffler ag , in their recent development strategics planning reported it plans to invest 150 million euro (over Rs 1,000 crore) in the next three years in India to set up a manufacturing facility and to expand existing plants.The company, which has three facilities in India at present, is also looking to nearly double the number of its engineers in the country in the next three years.This is really good news for india and promotes their auto industrial development very well .
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