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India, Belgium agree to promote renewable energy cooperation

According to reports, India and Belgium today agreed to strengthen, promote and develop renewable energy cooperation besides exploring joint research opportunities in the sector.

The decision was made during a bilateral meeting between New and Renewable Energy minister Farooq Abdullah and Princess Astrid of Belgium.

Princess Astrid is currently on a visit to India as head of a large Belgian Economic Mission.

“Both the countries have agreed to explore possibilities of coordination in renewable energy through joint Research and Development (R&D) programmes of mutual interest,” a ministry statement said.

“After detailed discussions, the two sides agreed to start work on a MoU in the field of renewable energy between both the governments in order to strengthen, promote and develop renewable energy cooperation between the two countries on the basis of equality and mutual benefit,” it said.

Briefing the visiting delegation on the energy situation in India and rapid growth in this sector, Abdullah spoke about India’s plan of adding over 30GW of renewable energy in its energy mix in the next five years.

Offering all possible assistance to enhance cooperation in this sector, Abdullah also highlighted India’s conducive and investor friendly policy framework for promoting renewable energy in a big way.

The minister also talked about the success of the wind programme as well as the significant cost reductions in solar energy through the Jawahar Lal Nehru National Solar Mission.

Princess Astrid is accompanied by Didier Reynders, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and European Affairs and Kris Peeters, President of the Region of Flanders and Flemish Minister for Economic, Foreign Policy along with a large business delegation.

The Belgian delegation recognised India’s considerable achievements and strengths in renewable energy and noted that India had made large strides in this field.

The business delegation accompanying the official delegation also made brief presentations on their activities and reciprocated India’s desire for enhanced energy cooperation between the two countries.

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