India and The Netherlands join forces on renewable energy

Wednesday February 5, 2014 09:32

Today, the Minister of New and Renewable Energy, Dr. Farooq Abdullah, gave the green light for intensifying cooperation on renewable energy between India and the Netherlands. The Minister presided over a ceremony where the Dutch Ambassador, H.E. Alphonsus Stoelinga and the Secretary of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Dr. Satish Balram Agnihotri, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). Under this agreement an Indo-Dutch Joint Working Group will be set up and the exchange of technical and institutional knowledge on clean energy will be facilitated.

Ambassador Stoelinga: "Both India and the Netherlands have ambitious sustainable energy targets and face similar challenges in realizing clean energy options in densely populated areas. The MoU will encourage cooperation between Indian and Dutch governments and governmental organizations, as well as between research institutions and private companies in both countries." The cooperation will specifically focus on wind and solar energy, biomass and smart grids. 

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 percent 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. 

To showcase the potential of stepping up Indo-Dutch collaboration in this field, a number of companies that are already active in implementing Dutch clean energy technologies in India were present at the signing ceremony: DSM, PwC and Thermax India. The latter is setting up a 1 MW biomass gasification plant for Ruchi Soya Industries Limited, where the soya residue will generate 1 MW electrical power. The plant uses technology acquired from the Dutch Energy Research Centre (ECN) and the Dutch firm Dahlman. Operational by March 2014, it will serve as a good example of how Indo-Dutch synergies succeed in applying cutting-edge technologies in a cost-effective way.

Another example is the Dutch firm DSM, one of the frontrunners in shifting from fossil fuels to processes that use biological materials. DSM is installing a Demo 1MW solar power plant at its engineering plastics manufacturing unit. This is a captive power generation unit thereby meeting 25% of their total electricity requirement from solar energy and reducing its CO2 footprint considerably. The plant is likely to be operational from mid-2014 onwards.

PwC has been advising the Indian regulators, financial institutions, multilateral and bilateral agencies, utilities and governments, in framing renewable energy policies and regulations. PwC India has a dedicated renewable energy practice providing advisory services across all major and emerging renewable energy technologies, such as solar (PV and thermal), wind, small hydro, bio-energy and waste-to-energy.

Category: Corporate, Solar Energy, Biomass