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India-EU Trade and Technology Council Working Group 2 Holds Two-Day International Workshop on Green & Clean Energy Technologies

The India-European Union (EU) Trade & Technology Council (TTC) Working Group 2 (WG2) convened a two-day international workshop on “Green & Clean Energy Technologies” during October 10-11, 2023. The workshop was organized by the Office of Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India and hosted by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) in hybrid mode.

India-EU-TTC is strategic coordination and engagement on trade and technology between India and Europe. It was formally announced on 25 April 2022 after the bilateral cooperation meeting between the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi and the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen. Within the framework of the TTC, three working groups have been set up. The Working Group 2 on Green & Clean Energy Technologies is chaired by Professor Ajay Kumar Sood, Principal Scientific Adviser (PSA) to the Government of India from the Indian side and Mr. Marc Lemaître, Director-General, Directorate General for ‘Research and innovation’, European Commission, Brussels from the European side.

Professor Sood, in his inaugural address at the workshop, emphasized on the role of the India-EU TTC partnership in fostering India-Europe trade and technology ties. He outlined the workshop’s objectives, which included exchanging insights on policy and regulatory frameworks, identifying cutting-edge green technologies, pinpointing collaboration opportunities and gaps, fostering co-development of technologies, and establishing institutional collaboration initiatives.

(PSA Prof. Ajay Kumar Sood delivering inaugural address at India-EU TTC WG2 workshop)

Mr.  Lemaître, who joined the workshop via video conferencing, highlighted the pivotal role of research and regulation in accelerating the growth of green and clean energy technologies. He further emphasized the importance of India-EU collaboration towards a shared vision for a sustainable future and also highlighted e-vehicles as a key solution, paving the way to achieve future targets.

(Mr. Marc Lemaître delivering address through virtual mode at India-EU TTC WG2 workshop)

The workshop comprised of four insightful sessions:

The first session ‘Waste to Green Hydrogen’ was chaired by Dr. Arun Tripathi, (Advisor, MNRE, India) and co-chaired by Ms. Helene Chraye (Head of Unit, DG R&I Directorate C1 – Unit on Clean Energy Transition, EU). The session witnessed multiple presentations on possible ways of collaboration between India and EU on Hydrogen Storage, transportation, Safety Standards, and regulatory framework. Technologies, solutions, and opportunities to convert Waste into Green Hydrogen were discussed.

The second session ‘Marine Plastic litter and Wastewater’ was chaired by Ms. Szilvia Nemeth (Deputy Head of Unit, Directorate B4 on Healthy Oceans and Seas, EU) and co-chaired by Mr. M.V. Ramana Murthy (Mission Director, Deep Ocean Mission, Ministry of Earth Sciences, India). Topics discussed included marine plastic pollution mitigation and wastewater treatment strategies to combat the ocean plastic crisis and urban water challenges.

The third session was divided into two sub-sessions. Session 3(a) on ‘E-mobility: Circulatory Aspects of Batteries’ was chaired by Sudhendu Jyoti Sinha (Adviser, Infrastructure, Connectivity & E-mobility, NITI Aayog) and co-chaired by Philippe Froissard (DG R&I – Head of Unit, Directorate C2 on Future Urban & Mobility Systems). Insights into battery circulatory considerations and the potential of the EV & battery recycling sector were presented.

Session 3(b) on ‘Interoperability of Charging Infrastructure’ chaired by Ashok Rajput, (Member (Power System), Central Electricity Authority (CEA)) and co-chaired by Harald Scholz, (Head of Mobility Lab in JRC-ISPRA) discussed the possibilities of co-development of charging infrastructure technologies between India and EU. Further, the session explored the collaboration between Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) and Joint Research Center (JRC), EU in applicability of standards, testing methodology, and optimization.

The fourth session ‘Standards’ was chaired by Ms. Kirsi Haavisto (DG R&I – Head of Unit in Directorate C1 on Valorisation policies & IPR) and co-chaired by Mr. Pramod Kr. Tiwari (DG- Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS)). The session witnessed intense discussions on the importance of harnessing data and scientific insights to form standards and initiate R&I and standards early in new technology research phases. A potential Code of Practice on Standardisation was also discussed.

Mr. Hervé Delphin, Ambassador-designate of the EU to India underscored the vital need for ongoing dialogue & technological cooperation between India & the EU.

(Dr. Parvinder Maini, Scientific Secretary, Office of PSA with Mr. Hervé Delphin, Ambassador-designate of the EU to India)

Dr. Parvinder Maini (Scientific Secretary, Office of Principal Scientific Adviser to Government of India) shared key takeaways on Sessions I and III, which included R&D on Lithium ion batteries and recycling technologies, formalization of uniform waste collection system, and development of a business model for complete value chain.

Ms.Cristina Russo (Director, Global Approach & International Cooperation in R&I, EU)  shared key takeaways on Sessions II and IV. She stressed on the need for a harmonized method to address plastic litter. As next steps, she proposed developing standards for specific technologies under each of the thematic topics.

Dr. Maini concluded the workshop by thanking the chairs, co-chairs and rapporteurs in each of the sessions. She also thanked each of the stakeholder Ministries which included MNRE, Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Heavy Industries, Ministry of Earth Sciences, BIS, Department of Science and Technology, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, and Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change for their support in making the workshop a resounding success.