Iain Duncan Smith: 'We should be looking to develop India'

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British Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng and Indian Minister for Power and New & Renewable Energy, Raj Kumar Singh, met on October 8 to discuss strengthened collaboration to speed up the transition to global clean energy in the decade ahead. It was the third time they met as part of the UK-India Energy for Growth Dialogue. With under three weeks to go until COP26, Mr Singh and Mr Kwarteng built on earlier collaborative progress made since the first and second Dialogues in 2017 and 2018.

They celebrated India’s advancement of solar energy to power the Indian Railways, welcoming close collaboration through the India-led International Solar Alliance, which aims to attract over $1trillion (£730billion) of investments in solar energy by 2030.

They also agreed that a strong domestic renewable energy sector is vital for building a secure energy system.

The energy secretaries said there are a wealth of exciting opportunities to create green jobs and drive economic growth across both India and the UK through decarbonisation.

They believe COP26 will be an opportunity to show global leadership on clean energy for the two sides.

In a display of their close ties, the two nations are expecting to launch the UK and India Government’s Global Green Grids – One Sun One World One Grid Initiative.

It seeks to bring together an international coalition of national governments, financial organisations, and power system operators to expand the construction of green infrastructure that is needed to help governments reach climate commitments.

These include the scale-up of secure, reliable and affordable power, such as modern, flexible grids, charging points, and electricity interconnectors.

The ministers endorsed a forward action plan on clean energy that will see a boost to renewable energy and storage and energy efficiency measures, with strategies like enabling production and use of green hydrogen, and increasing the switch to electric mobility to come into effect.

To do so, the ministers will set up a joint programme on smart power, renewable energy and storage.

The programme will boost India’s renewable energy market in areas such as offshore wind as well as help to create digital solutions for power distribution companies, such as improving industrial energy efficiency, and boosting electric mobility to maximise business opportunities and investments.

UK Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “As we gear up to host the UN COP26 summit next month, today the UK and India have made important progress in outlining how this deep partnership can continue to deliver green growth for both countries powered by clean energy.

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“Supporting the move to clean energy is a shared priority, and our new joint programme on smart power, renewable energy and storage will help to increase investment in renewable projects, while creating new high skilled jobs across both nations as we build back greener.”

Alex Ellis, High Commissioner to India, said: “Action on climate change is a central pillar of the 2030 Roadmap agreed by Prime Ministers Modi and Johnson.

“The Energy Dialogue today advanced our joint agenda to develop clean energy to support sustainable growth for both our economies.”

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