Securing India’s Energy Needs
- General Studies 2: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests
- General Studies 3: Infrastructure: Energy
In News: Marking the growing prominence of India in the global energy map, the 16th International Energy Forum Ministerial (IEF16) is being hosted by India at New Delhi.
International Energy Forum (IEF)
- Aims to foster greater mutual understanding and awareness of common energy interests among its members
- Its 72 member countries are signatories to the IEF Charter, which outlines the framework of the global energy dialogue through this inter-governmental arrangement. Apart from them, 20 countries are also participating in this meeting as special invitees.
- Covering six continents and accounting for around 90 per cent of global supply and demand for oil and gas, the IEF is unique in that it comprises not only consuming and producing countries of the IEA and OPEC, but also Transit States and major players outside of their memberships, including Argentina, China, India, Mexico, Russia and South Africa.
Theme: “The Future of Global Energy Security – Transition, Technology, Trade and Investment”
India’s Energy Needs: Prime Minister Modi
- A mutually supportive relationship between producers and consumers
- Optimal use of the neutral platform of the IEF to build a global consensus on ‘responsible pricing’, that serves the mutual interests of both producers and consumers
- Country’s refineries are on track to meet the ambitious target to produce clean and affordable fuel by April 2020
- India’s energy consumption will grow 4.5 percent every year for the next 25 years. There is a need for a more transparent and flexible market for the oil and gas sectors. India imports 80 percent of its oil needs and is the third largest oil consumer in the entire world.
- The efforts at artificially distorting oil prices were self-destructing and affected developing countries like India. Thus, it is in the interest of oil producers that consuming markets grow.
India’s energy vision comprises of four pillars –
- Energy access
- Energy efficiency
- Energy sustainability
- Energy security
India needs to –
- Establish an integrated planning process that factors in the implications of decisions concerning fossil fuels on renewables and vice versa, and develop a policy mindset that enables the fulfillment of short-term objectives without compromising longer-term goals.
- Correct the imbalances in the energy value chain, to minimize avoidable losses and create a unified energy market.
- Redesign and restructure the institutions of energy governance to enable and facilitate holistic energy planning and an integrated energy market. As a first step in that direction, the government should consider legislating an omnibus “energy responsibility and security act”. This will raise public awareness on the interconnections between the various components of energy and between energy and the rest of the economy.
- Cities are the reasons for surging energy demand and air pollution. The government should devolve the energy administration of cities to an autonomous and constitutionally safeguarded “city energy ombudsman”. These ombudsmen should be empowered to tackle issues related to energy efficiency, demand conservation, waste management, urban redesign and transportation and to develop and implement focused, small-scale and distributed solutions.
- There is a need to invest in supportive infrastructure, regulations, skills and innovation.
- While CNG buses have been introduced in various cities, the only way for a totally emissions-free public transport is by going all electric. Energy security would mean our ability to manufacture the full value chain in solar panels far more than getting access to equity oil or gas anywhere in the world. The sooner we match China’s capacities in producing solar panels and storage batteries for electric cars, we will be better placed in handling our energy security in the years to come.
- Niti Aayog must carry out a detailed study on what will be required to shift from the incumbent fossil fuel energy system to a “clean energy” system.