India to seek IPR waiver for green energy tech at G20

With multi-level meetings scheduled next year across several cities, green energy would be a major focus and India would try to stress on efforts to make technology affordable for all countries in the grouping.

Rituraj Baruah
Updated27 Dec 2022
Technology sharing for green energy has been among the top demands of developing countries, along with the longstanding requirement for funds to achieve the required transition in these countries. (BLOOMBERG)
Technology sharing for green energy has been among the top demands of developing countries, along with the longstanding requirement for funds to achieve the required transition in these countries. (BLOOMBERG)

New Delhi: India is planning to push for a waiver of intellectual property rights (IPR) for technologies related to green energy and energy transition in a bid to bridge the technology gap across G20 countries, two officials aware of the matter said. India took over presidency of the grouping earlier this month.

With multi-level meetings scheduled next year across several cities, green energy would be a major focus and India would try to stress on efforts to make technology affordable for all countries in the grouping.

The move comes against the backdrop of countries turning to green energy amid grave supply concerns arising out of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

“We are looking at technology gaps. As long as we don’t share the technologies with each other, we will not be able to develop in terms of energy transition. It will take years to achieve transition without technology sharing. We should collaborate and keep aside the limitations of patent rights, copyright rights and intellectual property rights (IPR), and work as a team. That is the objective,” one of the two officials cited above said.

“India is good in some technologies; others are also doing work from the same technology. If we combine the heads, then the growth in technology will gather massive pace,” the official added.

The second official said concepts like carbon capture, utility and storage (CCUS) involve hefty expenses, and countries which excel in technologies for CCUS and other new and capital-intensive sectors should support other countries, enhancing accessibility of these technologies and boosting transition across the group and the globe.

India also plans to showcase a test case of CCUS to the group members during its G20 presidency, the second official added.

Queries sent to the ministries of power and external affairs remained unanswered till press time.

Technology sharing for green energy has been among the top demands of developing countries, along with the longstanding requirement for funds to achieve the required transition in these countries.

In May this year, UN Secretary-General António Guterres also talked about removing the barriers caused by IPR. Speaking at the launch of the World Meteorological Organization’s State of the Global Climate 2021 Report, the Secretary General said: “Removing obstacles to knowledge sharing and technological transfer – including intellectual property constraints -- is crucial for a rapid and fair renewable energy transition.”

IPRs are the rights given to inventors or creators for their creations, giving them exclusive rights over the use of their creation for a certain period of time.

In its efforts to address the issue of technology gaps, India will also pitch for a platform or forum under G20 for green technology development.

“We will work on these lines and also how to address these technology gaps. There should be one platform or forum for technology. This is what India will propose and there will be deliberations on it,” said the second official.

Several new and expensive avenues have emerged in the green energy space including CCUS, battery storage and green hydrogen. Achieving scale in these segments would require both expertise and massive funds. Along with bridging technology gaps, G20 members are also working on the requirement of funds for the transition across member countries.

The first official said a study is being undertaken to assess the requirement of funds and once the report is submitted and is discussed, a final figure will be decided in terms of fund requirement.

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