19 Jul 2023, 13:26
Benjamin Wehrmann

German economy minister to put focus on clean energy during India trip

Clean Energy Wire / n-tv

A planned trip to India by Germany’s economy and climate action minister Robert Habeck aims to bring the countries closer together in efforts to develop renewable energy and green hydrogen production. The visit to the world’s most populous country from 19 to 22 July will focus on “resilience and diversification” of the economy, Habeck’s ministry (BMWK) said in a press release. The minister will also meet international colleagues in the context of India’s presidency of the G20 forum of influential economies. In an interview with news station n-tv, Habeck said a key principle of his visit is that “markets of the future will be about green energy”. Germany sought to intensify its cooperation with India “without being naïve” about the fact that the south Asian country is resolutely pursuing its own interests. “For example, it is buying a lot of oil for little money from Russia. Relations with India are important but they are also complicated,” Habeck argued. Europe must intensify its efforts to seek a stable partnership with India as a “counterweight” to U.S. and Chinese dominance on the world stage, he added. This could be done by finding common ground on low-carbon industries like green steel production.

With a bilateral trade volume of some 30 billion euros in 2022, Germany is India’s most important trading partner in the EU, said the ministry. The two countries have maintained an “Indo-German Energy Forum” for bilateral cooperation since 2006. Chancellor Olaf Scholz earlier this year said that closer cooperation with Germany on renewable power and other energy transition technologies could help India increase its energy sovereignty. German solar industry association BSW Solar - which is accompanying Habeck on the trip - said that targeted immigration of skilled workers from India should help Germany achieve its solar expansion targets, as the country faces a shortage of trained workers.

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