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Press Release - US-India Energy Dialogue

Washington DC
September 25-28, 2012

1.    Shri B. K. Chaturvedi, Member, Planning Commission of India and Dr. Steven Chu, Secretary, US Department of Energy (DoE), co-chaired the India-US Energy Dialogue on September 28, 2012, in Washington DC.  Mr. Daniel Poneman, Deputy Secretary of US DoE, Mr. Ranjan Mathai, Foreign Secretary of India, Mr. David Sandalow, Acting Under Secretary, US DoE and other senior officials from both sides were present during the Dialogue.

2.    The US-India Energy Dialogue was launched on May 31, 2005 to promote increased trade and investment in the energy sector, through identification of further areas of co-operation and collaboration, while actively working with both the public and private sectors.  Five working groups have been set up under the initiative in areas, e.g., oil & gas, coal, power and energy efficiency, new technologies & renewable energy and civil nuclear co-operation.

3.    Four working groups - on oil & gas, coal, power and energy efficiency, new technologies & renewable energy - met on September 25-26, 2012 in Washington DC.  The working groups discussed a wide variety of issues including cooperation in electrical grids, cleaner fossil fuel, and energy efficiency; assessment of solar and wind resources, integration of renewable energy (RE) grids and testing of solar modules; export of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from US to India, and South Asian Regional Energy Integration; and, 3-D Seismic Surveys, alternative technologies for mining deep-seated coal and lignite resources, and extraction of coal mine methane.  The working groups acknowledged the accomplishments under the Distribution Reforms, Upgrade, and Management (DRUM) project of USAID, and MoUs on solar and wind energy; active support provided by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) on resource assessment for shale gas in India and by the  U.S. Department of Commerce for development of a regulatory framework to govern India's upcoming licensing round for the exploration and production of shale resources; and assistance provided by the US side in convening of underground coal gasification (UCG) workshops,  implementation of two high-wall technology projects, establishment of coal bed methane (CBM) Clearing House and capacity building in geo-spatial mapping.  

4.    A Government-Industry roundtable was organized by USIBC and Department of Energy (DoE), with support from CII and FICCI, on September 27, 2012.  The roundtable discussed investment opportunities in the energy sector in India, with emphasis on renewable energy, conventional power generation and distribution and oil and gas exploration; investment policy frameworks of both countries; and efforts being made by US and Indian companies to increase investments, contribute to economic growth and progress and help in creation of employment opportunities.

5.    The two sides lauded the successful implementation of the decision by Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and President Obama in November 2010 in Delhi to establish a “virtual” Joint Clean Energy Research and Development Center (JCERD), which is the first bilateral initiative designed specifically to promote clean energy initiative by team of scientists from India and the United States, with a total joint committed funding from both Governments of US $ 50 million. The Center has funded three research projects, in the areas of solar energy, second generation bio-fuels and energy efficiency of buildings. The research consortia, which represent reputed science and technology institutions of both countries, made detailed presentations on their plans of action and research outcomes.  

6.    The Dialogue noted the enormous trade and investment opportunities, which have been opened up with discovery of US shale gas.  While noting the investments made in this sector by Indian companies and the permission granted to Gas Authority of India Ltd (GAIL) for export of LNG from Sabine Pass terminal in US to India, the Dialogue discussed the impact of relatively less expensive LNG imports from US to India, on the Indian power sector and prospects of growth in India.  The Dialogue stressed the need for both countries to actively enhance generation of energy from renewable and low carbon resources, and, in this context, the possibilities of large scale cooperation in integration of renewables with the grid, storage technologies, and RE technologies was discussed.  It was decided to constitute a group to discuss financing options for encouraging generation through renewables.  The Dialogue also discussed the utilization of Carbon-di-Oxide, released through Carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) in alternative uses, such as fertilizer manufacture, enhanced oil recovery (EOR) and other such methodologies in order to make CCS commercially viable.  It was decided that the two sides would engage in further cooperation in this area.  

7.    The Dialogue agreed to the formation of a new Working Group on ‘low carbon growth’ for assessing the Carbon dioxide emissions from different industries and for initiating steps to reduce such emissions.   

8.    Both sides expressed satisfaction at the progress made during the Dialogue process, including in the working groups and industry roundtable and re-iterated their respective commitments to continue the process of enhancing energy co-operation between the two sides.