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Green hydrogen & shipping focus of delegation visiting India next week, says Norwegian ambassador

Norway has already made investments worth $200 million in India, says ambassador Hans Jacob Frydenlund, foresees ‘concrete cooperation’ on green hydrogen & other renewable energy areas.

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New Delhi: A delegation, led by Norway’s minister for trade and industries Jan Christian Vestre, and including representatives from renewable energy businesses like green hydrogen, will visit India next week, the country’s ambassador to India, Hans Jacob Frydenlund, told ThePrint in an interview Tuesday. The delegation will focus on opportunities for green shipping, among other things, said Frydenlund.

Norway has a long history of producing green hydrogen, and built the world’s largest electrolysis plant in the 1940s.

Last year, Norway’s foreign minister Anniken Huitfeldt visited India with representatives from 17 renewable energy companies to boost business relations between the two countries. Green hydrogen, ammonia, carbon capture and renewable energy had then been the special areas of focus.

“Ammonia will be one of the key factors when it comes to storing hydrogen and using hydrogen energy production. So, we see concrete cooperation between a number of Indian companies and Norwegian companies in this area,” ambassador Frydenlund said.

India uses ammonia in fertilisers, but much of this is produced using hydrogen through carbon-intensive methods, such as the use of natural gas — a fossil fuel. Green hydrogen and green ammonia replace gas, oil and coal with renewable energy as the power source.

The Norwegian government has also announced investments in other renewable energy areas through its Climate Investment Fund.

The fund is managed by development bank Norfund, and has a corpus of $1 billion to put into climate projects in developing countries, as part of Norway’s climate pledges made at the COP26 and COP27 summits.

According to Frydenlund, investments worth $200 million have already been made in India.

“The recent large one was in a company that is producing bioenergy in Punjab and Haryana called SAEL, which was a $60 million investment. They (Norfund) are also bringing with them another Norwegian investor, KLP, which is among the biggest pension funds in Norway. So, this is a way of committing to climate action,” he said.

Asked about future investments in India, Frydenlund said the fund managers “are state-owned, but run by commercial principles, so you would have to ask them”.

Also read: Green hydrogen in SIGHT, India has taken a leap. Now ensure it doesn’t end…

India strategy

According to Frydenlund, Norway was focused on implementing its 2019 ‘India strategy’, with particular emphasis on the areas of energy, environmental degradation, climate change and oceans.

“We have been working on a programme for knowledge-sharing when it comes to integrated ocean management, and particularly marine spatial planning. In fact, I’ll be going to Puducherry and Lakshadweep to take part in the launch of the draft marine spatial plans this month,” he said.

He added: “We have also been working quite extensively when it comes to green shipping, a theme which will be discussed when we have a visit by our trade minister to India,” he added.

Green shipping is the practice of shipping by causing the least carbon emissions possible.

(Edited by Nida Fatima Siddiqui)

Also read: Green hydrogen defines EU’s energy security goals. India is its gateway to achieve them

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