‘Denmark to soon start discussions with Centre, States for setting up energy parks’

Amiti Sen New Delhi | Updated on September 30, 2020 Published on September 30, 2020

Freddy Svane, Denmark’s Ambassador to India

Detailed action plan for India-Denmark ‘Green Strategic Partnership’ on the anvil: Danish envoy

Denmark is eager to move ahead on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent proposal of setting up energy parks in India for Danish companies, which would also include facilities for research and development and skilling centres for job creation, according to Freddy Svane, Denmark’s Ambassador to India.

“We are discussing the concept right now as PM Modi’s proposal has just been made. We are keen to work on it and have started preparations on the Danish side. We will soon talk to the relevant Ministries in Delhi as well as States where we think there is a possibility of setting such parks. It can be in Tamil Nadu or Gujarat...we will have to see,” Svane told BusinessLine.

Modi and his Danish counterpart Mette Frederiksen, in their virtual bilateral summit on Tuesday, agreed to elevate India-Denmark relations to a ‘Green Strategic Partnership’ which also calls for increased focus on renewable energy, managing climate change, environment protection, circular economy and water and waste management. The Indian PM also proposed setting up of India-Denmark energy parks with skill institutes.

“The energy parks can be demonstration parks for our green strategic partnership. We will bring all the Danish companies which, for example, are involved in onshore winds or off shore wind and create a cluster. We will set up research activities. We will also look at setting up skilling institutes for you also need jobs,” Svane said.

Svane said climate change was a problem that cannot be tackled alone, adding that since India had scale and Denmark had skill, they were ideal partners. The India-Denmark Green Strategic Partnership is the first of its kind and it is being hoped that it would set the right example for the world, he said.

Apart from wind energy, other sectors that could be part of the energy park are bio-fuel, food processing and cooling to reduce post-production losses.

The Ambassador stressed that while political declarations about climate were fine, it also had to create jobs which was possible in the area of green energy. “For instance, there is a lot of job creation attached to wind energy. The more you promote it, the more jobs you create...To be activistic on climate issue is a good thing but what we are saying is that it will also create jobs,” he said.

Private participation

Stressing on the importance of private participation, Svane said it would not be possible to move much without action from the private side. Danish companies like wind energy company Vestas, which has a presence in Ahmedabad and Chennai, and logistics company Maersk already are doing good business in India and are also expanding.

But these companies had issues related to red tape which the Indian government and PM assured would be addressed, the Ambassador said. “If you want to bring in new technology and new investments that will create new jobs, you can’t be stuck in red tape and lack of reforms,” he said.

On the execution of the Green Strategic Partnership, Svane pointed out that the Foreign Ministers from both countries had been tasked to finalise the action plan as soon as possible. “The action plan will be detailed. For instance, if we talk about water, we will lay down details such as what we are going to achieve in the area, who all will be responsible, and what kind of projects will be looked at. The action plan will detail the priorities, the timelines and so forth,” he said.

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Published on September 30, 2020
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