Why Sweden should co-create with India on energy system transformation!

With a population of 1.4 billion and one of the world’s fastest-growing major economies, India will be vital for the future of the global energy markets. Ensuring Indian citizens have access to electricity has been at the top of the country’s...

With a population of 1.4 billion and one of the world’s fastest-growing major economies, India will be vital for the future of the global energy markets. Ensuring Indian citizens have access to electricity has been at the top of the country’s political agenda. As a result of effective policy implementation, around 700 million people gained access to electricity between 2000 and 2018, significantly raising living standards for all segments of the population. Energy system transformation and energy security are also critical to support the country’s economic development and expansion of the private sector. While India has made significant progress towards ensuring affordable energy to its population, growing energy needs poses a significant challenge to global efforts to reduce CO2 emissions. By co-creating with India on clean energy research and technology, including energy efficiency and smart grids, Sweden can make a significant contribution to ensure everyone’s access to affordable, reliable and sustainable energy – a key objective under the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

India’s energy demand could double by 2040, with electricity demand potentially tripling. Because of the growing demand India’s coal supply has increased rapidly since the early 2000s. Coal continues to be the largest domestic source of energy supply and electricity generation. Improving energy efficiency and increasing the share of renewables in the domestic energy mix will play a crucial role in transforming the Indian energy sector. The good news is that recent analysis by International Energy Agency shows that India’s investment in solar PV was greater than in all fossil fuel sources of electricity generation together. By December 2019, India had deployed a total of 84 GW of grid-connected renewable electricity capacity. By comparison, India’s total generating capacity reached 366 GW in 2019. This shows that India is making progress towards its target of 175 GW of renewables by 2022. There is no doubting that India’s targets for renewable power generation and electrification tell an impressive story – a story which also presents opportunities for countries like Sweden to join India in writing the future of the energy sector.

This why OSI India is very proud and happy to share that Swedish Energy Agency, during the recent State visit to India, signed a Protocol of Cooperation with India’s Department of Science and Technology (DST) for collaboration in the energy sector. As an outcome of the new agreement, Swedish Energy Agency and DST recently at the Smart Utilities Week announced an industrial R&D call on Smart Grids. Swedish Energy Agency has committed 25 million SEK over 4 years for the new program and DST will fund a matching investment of INR 18 crore for the support of Indian partners. This exciting joint programme will support innovation projects bringing together companies, research institutes and universities with an ambition to develop new technologies, advanced technology-based services or processes within the context of Smart Grids. With the program, Sweden takes an important first step towards co-creating a new sustainable energy future together with India.   

“With India raising its ambition for renewable energy manifold, research and innovation in the area of Smart Grids assumes high priority as essential enabler. High research and innovation investments, especially implemented in partnership with other countries can accelerate Smart Grid technologies development in the near future. Sharing a common vision on sustainability, Sweden and India are adding one more collaborative programme to their already vibrant partnership portfolio” commented Professor Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary at DST, at the announcement of the Programme.

Announcement of the joint call on Smart Grids. Photo by Emma Nilsson.

Following the announcement of the joint call, the 4th Indo-Swedish Roundtable on Smart Grids was held in New Delhi. Participating at the event, OSI India interviewed a few Swedish companies about their work in India and what market opportunities they see in India. You can watch the video here.

You will note that the Swedish companies acknowledge that there is a huge scope and demand in India, and they believe that lots of innovations are already happening in India. Indian utilities are looking for the best technology and Swedish companies could collaborate and co-create new solutions. We hope that the interest of Swedish companies and researcher to team up with Indian colleagues will be big as the opportunities for co-creation and new technology development are vast. If you have any questions about the upcoming call, you’re always welcome to contact the OSI India team.

Swedish company representatives in the Roundtable on Smart Grids. Photo by Emma Nilsson.

Let’s co-create a new sustainable energy future!

Greetings from Leena, Mini, Emma & Fanny