IHA board member, Erik Solhiem, leads renewables delegation to Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka

Erik Solheim, former UN Under-Secretary and Norwegian peace envoy, welcomed Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka's plans to revolutionise their economies through green energy.

Erik led a delegation of top business leaders, civil servants and leaders from wind, hydropower and green hydrogen to Chennai and Colombo. Chief Executive Officer, Eddie Rich represented the International Hydropower Association alongside Erik. Several member companies attended including Voith, GE Renewables, Andritz Hydro, EDF and Fortescue Future Industries (FFI).  

“It was great to attend the renewable energy summit in Chennai with top leaders from the state, many green investors and my friends from Global Renewable Alliance - wind, hydro, green hydrogen and more. We will all support the Tamil Nadu Climate Mission,” says Erik. “There are also huge opportunities for carbon credits in a state which has launched Tamil Nadu Wetlands Mission and Tamil Nadu Green Mission. It will increase tree cover with 10%.”

Following the recent national draft guidelines on pumped storage hydropower in India, the south of India will play a key important role in its development, with Tamil Nadu leading the way.

“It was a great honour to attend the renewable energy summit in Chennai to listen and engage with top leaders from the state, green investors from around the world and the Global Renewable Alliance,” says Eddie Rich. “The government of Tamil Nadu highlighted its expertise and commitment to attract interest from the industry representatives, especially on pumped storage, wind and green hydrogen.”

A smaller delegation met with Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, MK Stalin, to discuss his broader vision for a US$1 trillion economy with a focus on green energy.

In Sri Lanka, there is optimism after the deal with International Monetary Fund, China and India last week on debt relief. For a richly nature-endorsed island, renewables offer a green way out of the economic crisis. The Sri Lanka Clean Energy Summit 2023 on Monday 27 March was attended by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Environment and Power, and by Erik Solheim as advisor to the President on Climate Change.

The delegation also met with President Wickremesinghe who said “We have gone through terrible times. We don’t want to go back… The green economy means we need to go deep down on everything.”

Erik also met with Amitabh Kant, the Indian G20 sherpa in Delhi. India will use its G20 presidency to put renewable energy centre stage at the global agenda.

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