Think tank report urges closer UK-India energy collaboration in electric vehicles, batteries, green financing

LONDON, 22 APRIL 2021: A new report by leading think tank Bridge India highlights how closer energy sector collaboration between the UK and India could propel bilateral relations between the countries in the next five years.

Bridge India interviewed investors, government stakeholders and businesses in both countries to create a comprehensive look at how to turbo-charge bilateral trade and investment. The report was created in collaboration with Howard Kennedy LLP and Mercia Asset Management, both of which are closely involved in the UK-India corridor in energy and cleantech.

Bridge India is a platform and think that helps India-watchers in the UK and Europe better engage with India on public policy. It hosts high-level dialogues and sector briefings for its members, and leads high-impact trade delegations to India and elsewhere.

The report identifies a huge market opportunity for British SMEs to innovate in the UK but grow in India, which currently remains largely untapped. It features the work of Faradion, the world leader in sodium-ion battery technology, which has expanded its presence significantly in India through licensing and building manufacturing capabilities. Nova Pangea Technologies innovation to valorise waste from sugar cane is another example of British innovation flourishing in India, which is also highlighted in the report.

The report recommends India should further utilise London’s position as the go-to venue of choice for raising green bonds to finance its ambitious climate agenda. In the electric vehicle market, both countries have the opportunity to work together to build international industry champions. In part, this is important to act as a bulwark against China’s dominance of the EV supply chain.

While both markets are taking their first steps towards a hydrogen economy, there is considerable scope for technology sharing as the UK’s CCUS market grows, which could support India’s production of hydrogen from natural gas.

Alex Ellis CMG, British High Commissioner to India, said: “Under Prime Minister Modi’s leadership, India has made remarkable progress in improving energy efficiency and developing new renewables. India now produces some of the cheapest solar energy in the world. The UK is also showing leadership; we have nearly halved our emissions in less than 20 years whilst growing the economy by 75%.”

Gaitri Issar Kumar, IFS, High Commissioner of India to the UK, said: “Our nation’s guiding principle of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ will, among other things, boost India’s Photo Voltaic cells manufacturing capacity and ensure their quality and competitiveness.”

“I congratulate Bridge India for their initiative in bringing out this Report on the potential of India-UK collaboration in the energy sector. It is a timely and welcome addition to the relevant information base,” she added.

Jonathan Cohen, Head of Energy, Howard Kennedy LLP, said: “The UK is leading the way in the transition to a net zero economy. With India’s vast population, fast-growing economy and rapid urbanisation and industrialisation, there are clearly many areas of mutual interest, knowledge sharing and collaboration between the two nations. This is a very exciting time for the UK-India relationship.”

Julian Viggars, CIO, Mercia Asset Management, said: “Innovation out of the UK will help accelerate India’s progress in the renewable energy sector and this type of collaboration that supports a global transition to a net zero economy should be applauded. Bridge India is a showcase of how countries can work to the benefit of each other and the international community as a whole.”

The UK’s recently announced Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution seeks to make the UK a global leader in green technologies, such as offshore wind, low carbon hydrogen and green transport as well as innovative green finance mechanisms. The International Energy Agency (IEA) expects India to be the largest contributor to the global upswing in renewable energy in 2021, with solar photovoltaic panels (PV) and wind energy playing a key role in this transition.

Read Bridge India’s report here
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