The Green Grids Initiative – A Must for India to Reach Net-Zero?

Author: Anirudh Krishnan 

Editor: Riya Singh Rathore


This paper aims to provide an overview of the Green Grids Initiative, focusing on the implementation, benefits, and drawbacks of the initiative in India. It introduces COP26 as a concept and the various agreements in the energy sector, followed by the history and the goals of the initiative, the implementation of the initiative, and the challenges and opportunities of the initiative with India as the focus. The piece concludes with suggestions on issues that need to be addressed before the initiative is implemented properly.

Keywords: Energy transition, solar energy, interconnectivity, solar energy infrastructure, emissions, Green Grids


INTRODUCTION: Taking off from COP26 

The United Nations Climate Change Conference [COP26] in Glasgow saw the participation of over 120 world leaders, 40,000 registered participants, 22,744 political party members, 14,000 observers, and over 3,800 media representatives. This UK-Italy led conference promoted discussions on climate change issues and solutions which resulted in the Glasgow Climate Pact (United Nations, n.d.). The pact includes commitments to strengthen efforts to build climate resilience and curb the emission of greenhouse gases. 

The conference called for participation from nations to accelerate their transition from coal and fossil fuels to clean power. This was significant since the energy sector accounts for more than a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions. Suggestions proposed that developed countries and developing countries phase out coal by 2030 and 2040, respectively, and urged nations to cease the construction of new thermal power plants (UN Climate Change Conference, n.d.). Based on such suggestions and deliberations of COP26, Prime Minister Modi announced India’s Panchamrit to combat climate change and accelerate the energy transition in India. Under the International Solar Alliance [ISA], India further announced the launch of the Green Grids Initiative – One Sun, One World, One Grid [GGI-OSOWOG] in partnership with the United Kingdom. The OSOWOG envisions financial, technological, and research cooperation to facilitate cross-border renewable energy transfer projects (ibid.). The initiative, however, comes with its set of opportunities and obstacles.