India and Saudi Arabia ally on clean hydrogen

On the sidelines of the MENA Climate Week in Riyadh, India and Saudi Arabia have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in the fields of electrical interconnections, green/clean hydrogen and supply chains.

Specifically, the MoU aims to establish a general framework for cooperation between the two countries in the field of electrical interconnection, exchange of electricity during peak times and emergencies, co-development of projects, co-production of green/clean hydrogen and renewable energy, as well as establishing secure, reliable and resilient supply chains of materials used in green/clean hydrogen and the renewable energy sector.

Additionally, it was also decided between the Union Minister for Power and New and Renewable Energy, Government of India, Shri R.K. Singh and the Minister of Energy, Government of Saudi Arabia, Abdulaziz bin Salman Al-Saud that B2B business summits and regular B2B interactions between the two countries will be conducted to establish complete supply and value chains in the above-mentioned areas of energy sector cooperation.

Addressing a session on “Global Stocktake of the Paris Agreement (GST) Regional Dialogue: Highlighting enablers and technologies for ambition and just and inclusive transitions” on the first day of the MENA Climate Week, Singh called the MENA Climate Week extremely important in exploring and sharing opportunities to shape the future of energy production, consumption and sustainability on a global scale, adding that the gathering holds great significance for the MENA region and collectively possesses immense potential in influencing the current and future narrative of energy transition.

The Minister further stated: “India, having almost 17% of the world population and being the world’s fifth largest economy, is taking significant steps to reduce emission intensity of its GDP by 45% by the year 2030 and to achieve the goal of Net Zero by the year 2070. The country has made significant strides in enhancing power generation capacity from non-fossil fuels, established a unified national grid and has strengthened distribution network, promoting renewable energy, expanding access to energy and achieving 100% household electrification, and implementing innovative policies.”

Singh said that green hydrogen is a promising alternative for accelerating India’s energy transition, noting: “It brings me great pleasure in informing you that the Government of India has launched the ‘National Green Hydrogen Mission’ for harnessing hydrogen energy and has approved an initial outlay of US $2.3 billion for this Mission.”

The Minister also called upon MENA countries to join the Global Biofuel Alliance in order to advance international cooperation in sustainable biofuels, adding that the Alliance aims to facilitate cooperation in intensifying the development and deployment of sustainable biofuels, to facilitate trade in biofuels and much more, in collaboration with international biofuels organizations.

The Minister stated that India firmly believes that all nations must recognize that the energy transition will have different challenges and opportunities for developing countries and the global south in particular, emphasizing the importance of working together to support each other in the transition.

Singh also asserted that individual actions and sustainable behavioural choices are crucial to achieving the energy transition in a sustainable manner, calling upon the MENA region to join India’s initiative on “Lifestyle for Environment (LiFE).”

To note, MENA Climate Week 2023 (October 8-12) is said to discuss climate solutions ahead of COP28 and is being hosted by the Government of Saudi Arabia. The event brings together stakeholders to discuss many topics, including the Global Stocktake and the economic and energy security aspects of climate action in the context of the Paris Agreement.