India, US meet to increase collaboration in energy

Washington: Top officials from India and the US are holding a series of meetings here to strengthen collaboration in the energy sector with special focus on mobilising clean and affordable sources for their requirements.

The series of meetings that kicked off Tuesday would with culminate in US-India Energy Dialogue on September 28, to be co-chaired by B K Chaturvedi, Member, Planning Commission, and Steven Chu the US Energy Secretary.

The officials hope to mobilise secure, clean, reliable and affordable sources of energy for both countries which, at present, depend heavily on fossil fuels.

The meetings are being held in five different working groups – oil and gas, coal, power and energy efficiency, new technologies and renewable energy and civil nuclear co-operation.

The Working Group meeting on Oil and Gas will discuss, among other issues, promoting bilateral investments in the sector, cooperation in the field of unconventional gas, trade in LNG, safety, and energy security policies.

An important item for discussion will be export of LNG from the United States to India.

Agencies and organisations of the two countries have an elaborate framework of MoUs on bilateral technical co-operation. The two sides will share suggestions on taking forward the work under these MoUs.

The Coal Working Group is jointly chaired by the US Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy, and India’s Ministry of Coal. It will explore the possibility of bringing together the private coal companies in the US for interface with Coal India and other Indian coal companies to augment the import of coal resources from US to India.

The working groups on Power & Energy Efficiency and New Technologies & Renewable Energy will look into areas such as smart grid, micro-grid and renewable grid integration, cleaner fossil technology and energy efficiency technologies for building and appliances.

India is looking forward for sharing of best practices in various Smart Grid pilot projects in the US, and for collaboration for the development of various software analytics.

With the large scale deployment of renewable based power projects, their grid integration is becoming increasingly challenging.

On the sidelines of the energy dialogue, the US India Business Council (USIBC) is hosting industry round-table to discuss the feedback received from industry groups and federations of both sides on the potential areas where collaboration can be synergistic for both sides.

The outcomes of the industry round-table and the working groups would be reported at the Energy Dialogue on Thursday, wherein, the two sides will take stock of progress and chart the roadmap for future co-operation in energy sectors between India and the USA.