Indo-German meet on energy sector cooperation

Feb 13, 2013

The 5th Indo-German Energy Forum (IGEF) takes place on Wednesday, 13 February, 2013 in Berlin. The meeting provides a unique opportunity for public and private sector stakeholders to develop a common understanding of the most promising opportunities for Indo-German cooperation in the energy sector.

IGEF was set up jointly by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during the latter’s visit to the Hannover Fair in April 2006. It not only recognises the crucial role energy plays for the two countries, but also the potential for cooperation, be it in efficient thermal power generation or renewable energies. The Forum meets yearly at the secretary level, led by India´s Ministry of Power and Germany´s Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi). 

The main objectives of the IGEF are to rehabilitate and modernise thermal power plants, encourage the use of clean energy sources and to disseminate climate-friendly technologies on both the supply and demand sides. Beyond the policy dialogue, the IGEF aims at initiating demonstration projects and other forms of collaboration between the Indian and German private sector. 

India, as a fast growing economy, is experiencing a ceaseless rise in demand for energy, which far outstrips the capacities of the existing local infrastructure. To resolve the imbalance between supply and demand, India is aiming to modernise and extend its power generating capacity, using both conventional fuels and renewables, while also stepping up demand-side energy efficiency. Germany is considered to be a competent partner in these areas.

The two countries share the concern of adapting energy systems to limit Green House Gas Emissions, while respecting the internationally accepted principal of "common but differentiated responsibilities". Taking into account this principle, Germany has committed to reducing its overall and per capita emissions. India, whose growing economy will require an overall increase in energy supplies, has committed to keeping per capita emissions below the average levels in the developed countries. 

The 5th Indo-German Energy Forum (IGEF) takes place on 13 February, 2013 in Berlin Enlarge image (© picture alliance / DINODIA PHOTO LIBRARY) Thus for both India and Germany, despite differences in context, fundamental policy considerations in the energy sector have led to similar decisions to implement vast and ambitious plans: to increase reliance on renewable energy sources, and to improve energy efficiency. For Germany, the intention is to diversify energy sources and reduce Green House Gas Emissions. For India, the aims are to contribute to a rapid increase in energy available for growth and social progress, both in urban and rural areas, as well as to build a climate resilient economy. 

There are several working groups under the Indo-German Energy Forum – modernisation of thermal power stations, renewable energies as well as energy efficiency and carbon trading. For this reason, several other relevant ministries are also involved, such as Germany´s Federal Ministry of Environment (BMU – in charge of renewables) and India´s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. Industry participation is highly encouraged in order to include the views of the corporate sector in the deliberations. 

A Support Office (IGEF-SO) has been set up in New Delhi and Berlin to liaise between all participants in the IGEF process.

Projects that have so far been successfully implemented under the Forum include standardisation of tender documents for the renovation and modernisation of thermal power plants run by Indian operators, grid-connected, roof-top photovoltaic systems piloted on three government buildings in New Delhi and setting up of the Excellence Enhancement Centre - a networking platform for all stakeholders in the Indian energy production sector, to support knowledge exchange and technological progress.

At the IGEF in Berlin, four thematic sub groups will be present, allowing for comprehensive discussions on the following issues:
1.    Efficiency Enhancement in Fossil Fuel Based Power Plants
2.    Decentralised distributed Generation based on Biomass and other Renewable Energies
3.    CDM Projects in the Energy Sector and Demand Side Energy Efficiency
4.    Research Cooperation in the Energy Sector

In addition, the meeting of the IGEF Sub Groups 1 and 2, several site visits and B2B talks in the field of renewable energies and energy efficiency are scheduled during the week of the Forum meeting.

Indo-German Energy Forum

© IGEF, German Embassy New Delhi

IGEF 2013 in Berlin

Solar energy cooker in Gujarat, western India