India and Saudi Arabia have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on securing a green hydrogen supply chain and collaborating on power grid interconnection. This significant agreement was formalized in Riyadh during the MENA Climate Week 2023, with Union Minister for Power and New & Renewable Energy, RK Singh, representing India and Saudi Minister of Energy, Abdulaziz bin Salman Al-Saud, representing Saudi Arabia . This MoU sets the stage for multifaceted collaboration in the energy sector between the two nations.
A Framework for Cooperation
The Ministry of Power released a statement highlighting the key areas of cooperation outlined in the MoU. These include:
Electrical Interconnection: The agreement aims to establish a framework for electrical interconnection between India and Saudi Arabia. This interconnection will allow the exchange of electricity during peak demand and emergencies, bolstering both nations’ grid stability.
Co-development of Projects: India and Saudi Arabia plan to collaborate on various energy projects, fostering joint initiatives in the renewable energy sector. This cooperative approach will contribute to sustainable energy generation.
Green/Clean Hydrogen and Renewable Energy: The MoU emphasizes the co-production of green and clean hydrogen, as well as renewable energy sources. Both countries recognize the importance of sustainable energy production and are committed to advancing in this area.
Secure Supply Chains: Ensuring the secure, reliable, and resilient supply chains of materials essential for green/clean hydrogen production and the renewable energy sector is a crucial aspect of this agreement.
Building on Previous Agreements
This MoU follows another significant energy cooperation agreement signed by India and Saudi Arabia. Just a month earlier, both countries had committed to collaboration in energy, encompassing renewable energy, energy efficiency, grid interconnection, strategic petroleum reserves, and energy security.
India’s Ambitious Grid Interconnection Plans
India has been actively exploring ways to connect its national power grid with those of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Singapore through subsea cables. This ambitious effort aims to share power resources across regions, reducing the need for expensive renewable energy storage solutions and enhancing the reliability of power grids.
India’s pursuit of grid interconnectivity aligns with its long-term economic and energy security goals. Under the “One Sun One World One Grid” (OSOWOG) plan, India seeks to establish a global power grid, connecting countries for efficient energy sharing and sustainability.
B2B Cooperation and Value Chains
To fully realize the potential of energy sector cooperation, both countries have agreed to conduct Business-to-Business (B2B) Business Summits and regular interactions. These initiatives will help establish comprehensive supply and value chains in various areas of energy collaboration.
India’s Commitment to Sustainable Energy
During the MENA Climate Week 2023 in Riyadh, Union Minister RK Singh emphasized India’s leadership in the energy transition. He highlighted India’s commitment to reducing the emission intensity of its GDP by 45% by 2030 and striving for Net Zero emissions by 2070. With nearly 17% of the world’s population and ranking as the fifth-largest global economy, India’s role in shaping the energy landscape is vital.
The Global Biofuels Alliance
Minister Singh also extended an invitation to MENA countries to join the recently launched Global Biofuels Alliance. This alliance, inaugurated during the G20 Summit in New Delhi on September 9, includes 19 countries and 12 international organizations, with India, Brazil, and the US as founding members. Its mission is to foster international cooperation in sustainable biofuels development and deployment.
While numerous G20 member countries and invitees have joined the alliance, Saudi Arabia, a prominent oil producer in the West Asian region, has yet to become a member.