Make in India! Don’t miss the Bus!


"Market Potentials for RE in India“ explored by IGEF at Hannover Messe

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to the world’s largest industrial fair in Hannover Messe with a large high rank business delegation to make a clear statement regarding the Indian market: “Don’t miss the bus!” The “Make in India” campaign intends to transform the country into a global manufacturing hub and to attract foreign investment from all over the world. You couldn’t miss out on “Make in India” in Hanover: there were billboards all over the place and even stickers on taxis and public buses. India was the exclusive partner country of the “Hannover Messe” and the Indian Prime Minister was willing to win the hearts and minds of German industry bosses.  Therefore he got support from his German colleague, Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel. In a joint statement  they pointed out that their common objective is “to encourage greater synergies between German engineering, experience in sustainable development, innovation and skills, and the new opportunities available in India through ‘Make in India’, ‘Clean India’, Digital India’ and other initiatives towards achieving economic growth and sustainable development”. Both were also special honorable guests at the “Indo-German Business Summit” on 13 April, the first day of the fair. Modi, usually dressed in Indian ethnic wear, had put on a casual business suit, and the German chancellor welcomed spring in Germany with a yellow costume. The atmosphere was friendly and open, driven by mutual respect. The German chancellor was ending her speech with a friendly reference to the Indian lion. So what has the Indian lion to offer? Following Mr. Modi, the last big domestic market with more than 1 billion consumers is waiting to get explored, India has one of the youngest populations in the world with a high motivated workforce willing to learn. Mr. Modi assured every one of his personal support and the support of his government.  Due to Mr. Modi, his government is on the way to roll out a red carpet for potential investors as he also knows that opportunities can become a threat and that he has to create at least 10 million new jobs each year for the young workforce he described so brilliantly before.

So the Indo-German Energy Forum (IGEF) took up the chance to look more deeply into the market potentials for Renewable Energy (RE) and Energy Efficiency (EE) in India. On 14 April IGEF offered in close collaboration with the German Federation for Renewable Energies (BEE) and the umbrella organization of the Indian industry FCCI a one day conference session on “Market Potentials and Business Applications for Renewable Energies & Energy Efficiency in India”. Especially German companies could gain firsthand information about the Indian market on RE and EE here. The conference with high representatives from German and Indian ministries and also the private sector offered a good opportunity to build up new relations either business to business or business to government. “Don’t miss the bus!”, was also the message of Upendra Tripathy, Secretary of the Indian Ministry for New and Renewable Energies (MNRE) who opened the session together with Thorsten Herdan, Director General of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi). What lived Indo-German cooperation means showcased Ivan Saha, President of Vikram Solar directly after the start of the session. He used the opportunity to sign MoUs between his company and the Fraunhofer-ISE-Institute as well as the German production equipment manufacturers Centrotherm AG and Meyer Burger Global AG. Another MoU was signed between the Indian IPP Welspun Renewables and the German iPLON GmbH on a 550 MW solar project inclusive plant monitoring. Dr. Wolfram Klein, Director of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BmZ) gave a report about the progress of the Green-Energy-Corridors-Project financed with a credit line of more than 1 billion Euro by KFW, the German Development Bank. Like in Germany  the hot spots of renewable energy generation in India are mostly wind and solar and usually far from the centers of demand. Therefore new inter and intra state transmission lines must be built. The overall estimation of necessary investment for these Green Energy Corridors was about more than 5 billion Euros so far. But as the Indian Government has set itself very ambitious targets with 100 GW solar and 60 GW wind already by 2022, also the grid must grow even faster and much bigger. So Germany expressed its willingness to further support India on her ambitious path into a green future by signing a Letter of Intent regarding an “Indo-German Solar Partnership”. Secretary Upendra Tripathy , MNRE and Director General Andreas Gies (BmZ) jointly signed the document which says that Germany is willing to finance through KFW a nationwide PV solar rooftop program. The final document shall be signed in October when Chancellor Merkel is coming for an official visit to Delhi.

Of most interest for representatives from the business sector were the two Industry Panel Discussions during the day. High rank representatives of the Indian  and German wind and solar industry discussed the opportunities of “Make in India” especially with a focus on manufacturing RE technology in India and possibilities of cooperation between German and Indian companies regarding project investment. Most interesting for the German industry were the very positive statements by most Indian green energy entrepreneurs. They underlined the fast growth of the Indian solar and wind market and showed their big interest for cooperation on all levels of the value chain. They were also convinced that the Indian RE market is still in an early stage of development and big enough for a lot of new players. The Indian business community also expressed its strong belief in PM Modi and his government. The Modi government means growth to them and they are expecting that existing barriers for foreign investment or administrative obstacles will be removed soon.

Over the whole day the session was well attended. In the end Welspun hosted a reception which gave more room for direct dialogue and exchange.

More pictures available at the gallery.

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