India-Sweden: Enhancing Energy Cooperation

2 Years agoClean. Green. Renewable Machines. Know more about Indo-Swedish cooperation in clean energy in the run-up to Make in India: Sweden 2017.

Renewable energy has been an essential component of India’s sustainable energy planning. India has the world’s 3rd largest installed capacity of concentrated solar power and the 4th largest installed capacity of wind power. The country’s commitment to green energy is also evident in the initiation of the world’s largest energy expansion target of 175 GW by 2022.

India has an estimated renewable energy potential of about 900 GW from commercially exploitable sources viz.:

  • Wind – a02 GW (at 80 metre mast height)
  • Small Hydro – 20 GW; Bio-energy – 25 GW
  • 750 GW solar power

The UN Environment Program ranks India among the top ten countries in the world investing in renewable energy.

Sweden, on the other hand, is also right on track with its commitment to run entirely on renewable energy by 2040. The country’s progressive energy policy is also in place as it is set to become the world’s first fossil-free nation.

Since the oil crisis in the early 1970s, Sweden has invested heavily in alternative and renewable energy sources. Currently, 83% of electricity production in Sweden comes from nuclear and hydroelectric power. Cogeneration from combined heat and power (CHP) plants accounts for 10% of the electricity output, mainly powered by biofuels. About 7% of the electricity comes from wind power. The Swedish solar energy has also begun to grow with the aid of government funding.

Today, the results from more than 30 years of energy research play an integral part in the Sweden’s energy system. Heat pumps, energy crops, large scale and small scale biofuels combustion technology, flue gas condensation, district cooling and energy system models are examples of products and services that have been successful in Swedish as well as global markets, and where the energy research programmes have contributed in a significant way. Swedish research projects applicable to solar, wind and bio energy sectors in India will benefit both the countries.


Opportunity in India


Massive investment opportunities exist across the value chain in India – the manufacture of renewable energy equipment such as low-cost solar photovoltaic cells, fluidized bed biomass gasifiers, and advanced technologies for treatment of waste, energy recovery from industrial effluents and sewage, energy from municipal solid waste, fuel cells and electric vehicles. There are opportunities in technology development, manufacture and management of renewable energy systems.

Opportunities also exist in enhancing capacity and capability of a wide range of different end-use applications of technologies across all the renewable energy technology sectors.


Manufacturing and Export base


Due to its well-connected geographic location, and extensive manufacturing capabilities, India can act as a secondary base of operations for Swedish companies to manufacture and supply to other developing countries in the South Asian region, which have massive potential for renewable energy systems in the coming years.


Policy Support

  • Renewable energy has been re-classified as ‘white category’, facilitating ease of doing business as no environmental clearances will be required for setting up of solar and wind power plants.
  • Companies investing in solar equipment can apply for the Modified Special Incentive Package Scheme (M-SIPs) under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, through which they may avail 20% capital subsidy and 10% turnover subsidy depending on the location of the plant.
  • The government is implementing the Green Energy Corridor Project to strengthen inter-state and intra-state transmission system to facilitate integration of large-scale renewable energy generation. 
  • India has the 4th largest wind power installed capacity in the world after China, United States and Germany. To further boost this, the National Off- Shore Wind Energy Policy 2015 was announced to facilitate offshore wind farms in the territorial waters of India.
  • Commercial banks have included renewable energy projects in priority sector lending norms of commercial banks.

India-Sweden synergy


In 2005, India and Sweden signed an agreement on cooperation in the fields of science and technology with “Sustainable Environmental Technology” listed under a Protocol of Cooperation. In April 2010, a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in Renewable Energy was also signed between the two countries.


Some sub-sectors where this synergy can be exploited are:

  • Smart energy storage systems and batteries
  • Onshore, Offshore and Near Shore wind farms
  • Waste to Energy systems
  • Biofuels
  • Hybrid energy generation systems
  • Micro grids
  • Hydroelectricity

Sweden’s expertise in energy research combined with the potential of India’s energy sectors can pave the way for a global renewable revolution.