India against cap on its energy consumption

Jul 17, 2006 02:00 AM

by V. Mohan Narayan

India is committed to the path of sustainable development and follows environment policies but it cannot accept any commitment that limits the growth of its energy consumption, a document prepared for the G8 summit said.
"Energy security is a global challenge and calls for concerted global action. National efforts to achieve energy security, without the benefit of international cooperation, can only yield limited results," the Indian “non-paper” for the summit said.

It noted that India and other developing countries faced formidable challenges in meeting their energy needs. India needs to sustain 8-10 % economic growth to eradicate poverty and to meet its economic and social development goals.
The document pointed out that to deliver a sustained growth of 8 % through 2031, India would need to increase its primary energy supply by three to four times and electricity supply by five to seven times of current consumption. At present, India consumes 0.19 kg of oil equivalent per dollar of GDP expressed in purchasing power parity terms.

The document highlighted the need for a diversification of the global energy mix in the medium and long-term to increase the share of renewables for achieving energy security. The Indian document highlighted the need for cooperative international action to address the issue of high development costs at present associated with renewables.
"From the point of view of India and other developing countries, it is also important that the international community fully abandons its reservations relating to hydro-power," it contended.

India feels that developing countries have significant potential for hydro-power which is a renewable and relatively clean source of energy.
"There is a need for the international community to direct its efforts to find sustainable and viable solutions to issues posed by large hydro-power projects while addressing their potential," it said.

India also strongly pitched for stability in oil and gas prices to ensure that growth prospects of consuming countries were not hampered and, on the other hand, investment in producing countries was promoted. The document highlighted the need for transparency of and access to all relevant data relating to reserves, demand, supply and investment.
The document advocated mutual cross investment to reinforce trade in oil and gas and felt that associated downstream industry would also promote stability in the economy of this key sector.

The document recommended that joint investments by producing and consuming countries be considered in infrastructure for exploration, production and transportation as well as in refineries, gas processing plants, power generation stations and petrochemical units.
Since Asia roughly accounted for half of global oil production, stepping up cooperation in the Asian oil and gas economy within the framework of global cooperation would promote stability, security and sustainability of the hydrocarbon economy, it suggested.

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