EU proposes deeper energy ties to reduce India’s dependence on Russia

New Delhi, Sep 8 (EFE).- European Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson Thursday offered India a deeper partnership in hydrogen and solar power as the Russian invasion of Ukraine had overturned the global energy system.

“Solar and hydrogen energy are both game changers for the energy transition. And whether we like it or not, the game – and our global energy system – has changed,” Kadri said.

Kadri addressed the First EU–India Green Hydrogen Forum in New Delhi.

She said the energy system had been “impacted by the Russian invasion of Ukraine” in February.

“(The) unprovoked and unjustified aggression has made it very clear to the EU that we cannot rely on Russia as our partner in energy. It means that the implementation of the European Green Deal is now even more urgent.”

India has been neutral toward Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine despite calls by West powers to oppose it.

New Delhi has also increased fuel purchases from Moscow in recent months.

The European Union, heavily dependent on Russian energy, has stepped up its green energy transition targets.

The visit of the senior EU official is the latest attempt by the European bloc to offer India viable energy alternatives to the Russian fuel.

Indian Power Minister RK Singh highlighted the Indian growth story, which has emerged as a place for foreign investment.

“Of course our demand for energy is increasing,” said the Indian minister.

With some 1.4 billion inhabitants and one of the fastest growing economies in the world, several projections suggest that in the next 20 years, India will need the amount of energy equivalent to European energy consumption.

Since last April, Indian purchases of Russian oil have gone from less than 2 percent to 12-13 percent.

It makes Russia the second largest supplier of crude to India thanks to the generous discounts that Moscow offered New Delhi since the beginning of the Ukraine war.

Kadri said the EU had ramped up its efforts on hydrogen even further and drew a blueprint in May “become fully independent from Russian fossil fuels.”

“As part of that, we aim to be at 45 percent renewable energy in our mix by 2030. This is significantly more than our current agreed target of 32 percent.”

She said it included an additional 10 million tonnes of renewable hydrogen, bringing the goal to 20 million by 2030.

“We don’t just see this as a reaction to what is going on in the world or the environment, it’s also an investment agenda. At the EU level. we are expecting investments in the range of 320 – 460 billion euros.”

The cost of developing sources, technology, and infrastructure to produce and store renewable energy is one of the greatest challenges faced by many countries like India.

President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen visited New Delhi to offer Indian an alliance that would allow both to work for the configuration of the “new world.” EFE

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