At the European Union (EU), European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, announced to step up cooperation with India on solar power, aiming to strengthen technology and security ties between Brussels and Delhi.
Her visit comes at a time for preventing dual-use technology from reaching Russia without stopping exports to India, which has remained neutral over the invasion of Ukraine.
She highlighted the need to secure global supply chains for the materials needed to make solar panels.
In March, Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson said that the EU’s bid to end dependence on Russia meant renewed political will and a practical need for boosting its renewables capacity in Europe.
According to the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems, Europe boasted over 40% of the world’s solar panel manufacturing capacity but recently declined to just 3%.
Asia accounts for 95% of current manufacturing. China alone produces two-thirds of solar capacity.
India intends to expand its solar manufacturing capacity because it relies on China for imports.
Large imports of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels pose risks to supply chain resilience and have strategic security challenges.
India and the EU already have a past of cooperating on solar power. In 2015, France and India founded the International Solar Alliance (ISA) to deploy solar power in poor countries.
During her visit, India and the EU announced creating a Trade and Technology Council to tackle challenges at the nexus of trade, technology and security.
The export crunch is affecting Russia’s ability to manufacture new weapons.
According to a report, the Russian Special Services are struggling to rebuild covert supply chains to continue to acquire critical components for Russia’s defence industries.
Russia already has mechanisms to launder dual-use technologies through third countries, which means that if the west wants to strangle Russian access, it may have to restrict exports to countries like India also for certain civilian products.
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