Strengthening EU-India Cooperation on
Energy and Climate Action Through Business Collaborations

Strengthening EU-India Cooperation on
Energy and Climate Action Through Business Collaborations

Joel Fernandes | 14th June 2022

EBTC Internationalisation Programme

The European Union attaches the highest importance to cooperation with India in the area of clean energy and climate action. With the European Green Deal, these key sectors have been put at the top of its domestic and external agenda.

Through the EU-India High-Level Dialogue on Climate Change held on April 28th 2021, both sides have signaled their intention to increase collaboration on the deployment of renewable energy, promotion of energy efficiency, collaboration on smart grids and storage technologies, as well as on modernising the electricity market. Other areas of cooperation revolve around the increased adoption of wind energy and collaborations in the field of green and blue hydrogen for the mobility sector. The EU strategy on relations with India proposes several concrete activities, aimed at making energy and climate cooperation even stronger to face global challenges.

This includes the launch of several EU-funded initiatives that focus on boosting clean technology transfer and green energy partnerships between both regions. An important case in point would be the EU-India Clean Energy and Climate Partnership (CECP) project. Launched in December 2018, the project aims to reinforce cooperation between the EU and India with a view to ensure a secure, clean, affordable, and reliable energy supply for all in line with the Paris Agreement. The project, over the last 3 years, has implemented several initiatives that focus on solar energy, solar rooftop, smart grid, offshore wind, energy storage, RE Grid integration, biofuels, cold chain, green cooling, nearly zero energy building technologies etc.

In January 2019, the EU initiated the Business Support to the EU-India Policy Dialogues Project which strives to increase business involvement in strategic areas of bilateral cooperation in order to reinforce the already strong partnership between the European Union and India. These key areas are derived from ongoing policy dialogues between the EU and India, such as Environment, Energy, Climate, ICT and Urbanisation and create relevant real-time opportunities for EU businesses interested in entering the Indian market. The project provided EU SMEs, the backbone of the European economy, the required support to understand and explore India as a market.

The EU-India Aviation Cluster, a crucial aspect of the Policy Dialogues, is a collaborative platform of 23+ EU companies actively interested in strengthening bilateral relations and cooperation with India through demand-driven business and policy advocacy. It aims to showcase expertise and best practices in green aviation and sustainability, infrastructure and safety & operations, through smart technology.

In addition to these, the European Union and India are already entertaining a variety of Policy Dialogues, and many commitments are dovetailed by projects such as the Resource Efficiency Initiative (REI) , the India EU Water Partnership (IEWP) , the India EU Urban Partnership (IEUP) and the International Urban and Regional Collaboration (IURC) . All these projects focus on sustainability, green technology and innovative solutions, at a technical, business and project level. In consequence, in most cases, the activities drive towards the net zero target.

While clean technology transfer and partnerships in the sustainability sector are of interest between the EU and India, this can only be facilitated by protecting the Intellectual Property of EU technology companies. To fulfill this requirement, the India IP SME Helpdesk was launched in 2020. The project offers first-line Intellectual Property assistance service for European SMEs that operate or intend to access the Indian market and look to improve their global competitiveness.

The European Business and Technology Centre (EBTC) has been a major contributor to this EUIndia business corridor, implementing and assisting in several of these projects. As a project facilitation and advisory organisation, it strives to enable smart collaborations between the two regions through its expertise, network and know-how, with specific focus towards sustainability, innovation, green technology and internationalisation.

In the changing geo-political landscape, the rapid strides in the EU and India strategic partnership is significant. Together, they can provide global leadership for climate and energy transition. India is focusing on new energy reforms and transforming its regulatory system. Europe has the necessary resources, best practices, and innovative technologies to support India to leapfrog into the future.

In conclusion, even though there is a viable ecosystem in place for EU companies to transfer technology and solutions to India, there is a lack of understanding of and access to these Indian opportunities in the EU. As of 2021, there are 4500 EU businesses in India that have contributed to the creation of over 1.5 million direct and 5 million indirect jobs in the country. Given that there is tremendous opportunity in India, backed by support mechanisms for EU businesses by the European Union through its funded projects and policy dialogues, it is imperative that EU businesses prioritise India as one of their go to markets over the next five years. If they don’t choose now, it will be too late.

This article, authored by Joel Fernandes, Associate Director, EBTC was initially published as a part of a special report on India and EU: Lowering Carbon, Increasing Connectivity commissioned by Europe-India Business Council. Read the complete report here.

energy, climate, business