Seeking to expand cooperation in renewable energy, India and Netherlands have decided to set up an Indo-Dutch joint working group for exchange of technical and institutional knowledge on clean energy.

A formal memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between the two countries giving the green light to intensifying cooperation between India and the Netherlands on renewable energy. The Dutch Ambassador Alphonsus Stoelinga and the Secretary of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Satish Balram Agnihotri, signed the MoU.

Speaking on the occasion, New and Renewable Energy Minister, Farooq Abdullah said the decision to enhance cooperation in the renewable energy field between the two countries was a big positive and hoped that this would just only be beginning of a symbiotic and mutually beneficial wave of cooperation in the clean energy sector.

Mr. Stoelinga expressed hope that the MoU would encourage cooperation not only at the official and governmental levels but also between leading Indian and Dutch private companies and research institutions. A number of private companies including DSM, Thermax India and PwC were also present on the occasion. The cooperation will specifically focus on wind and solar energy, biomass and smart grids.

Dr. Abdullah said India plans to add over 30 GW of renewable energy to its energy mix in the next 5 years. He dwelt on the success of the wind programme as well as the significant cost reductions in solar energy through the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM). “India and Netherlands had great potential for enhancing cooperation in promoting renewable energy and I offer all possible assistance for the purpose,” he added.

The Netherlands aims to have a sustainable, reliable and affordable energy system by 2050. As part of this, the Dutch aim to cut CO2 emissions by half, and to generate some 40 per cent of electricity from sustainable sources such as wind at sea and biomass by that time. The Dutch have leading expertise in areas such as offshore wind energy, co-combustion of biomass in coal-fired power plants, methods to pre-treat biomass and smart grids. Indian expertise in turn excels in applying these high tech solutions in a cost-effective manner.

More In: Industry | Business