Delhi, Oct 14
Union Minister for Power and New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), Government of India R K Singh, addressed the Ministerial session of the Green Grids Initiative-One Sun One World One Grid Northwest Europe Cooperative Event. The event saw the participation of Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy of the United Kingdom, Rt. Hon. Kwasi Kwarteng, and the Minister of Energy of Belgium, Ms. Tinne Van der Straeten. Dr. Ajay Mathur, Director General of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) and Dr. Junaid Ahmad, Country Director, World Bank India provided insights into the work that is being undertaken toward the initiative.
Shri Singh affirmed India’s commitment to the environment and the cause of clean energy and energy transition, and highlighted India’s target of achieving 450 GW of installed renewable energy capacity by 2030. He underlined that India is well on its way to achieving its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) relating clean energy and emission reduction well ahead of the target date. Acknowledging the challenges presented by the intermittent nature of solar and wind energy sources, and by the high cost of energy storage, Mr. Singh presented the GGI-OSOWOG initiative as a possible solution for driving down the need for storage and in effect reduce the costs of the energy transition.
Secretary Kawsi Kwarteng stated that accelerating global power transition is a top priority for the UK as it leads the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) as its President. Mr. Kwaretng appreciated the innovative work that has been done by the ISA and India toward developing OSOWOG. Extending UK’s support behind the GGI-OSOWOG initiative, he emphasized the country’s intentions of strengthening international collaborations well beyond COP26.
Wilton Park, the executive agency of United Kingdom’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) hosted a two-day programme for a strategic discussion on the Green Grids Initiative-One Sun One World One Grid (GGI-OSOWOG). The event titled the Northwest Europe Cooperative Event saw a multi-layered dialogue between the One Sun One World One Grid (OSOWOG) initiative and the project in Northwest Europe for developing cross-border trading of renewable electricity.
Minister Van Der Straeten of Belgium emphasized the need for action by political leaders and engagement from all countries big and small to invest in the energy of tomorrow. Ms. Van Der Straeten remarked that with the GGI-OSOWOG initiative, cost effective solar power could be delivered to Belgium all the way from India.
Director General of ISA, Dr. Mathur provided an insight on the work going on behind the scenes as GGI-OSOWOG is being transformed into a full-fledged project. Dr. Mathur mentioned that sustainable development and climate change mitigation are at the heart of the GGI-OSOWOG initiative, and that the scale of the project could very well make it the next biggest modern engineering marvel.
The idea for the One Sun One World One Grid (OSOWOG) initiative was put forth by the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi, at the First Assembly of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) in October 2018. He had called for connecting solar energy supply across borders. In May 2021, the United Kingdom and India agreed to combine forces of the Green Grids Initiative and the One Sun One World One Grid initiative and jointly launch GGI-OSOWOG at the COP26 summit being hosted by the UK at Glasgow in November 2021.