a) Delivering the address at the inaugural session of the “Energy Security Conference 2012” organized jointly by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Ministry of External Affairs, the chief guest, Mr Salman Khurshid, Union Minister for External Affairs, Government of India emphasised on the strategic and economic importance of energy security, the opportunities in this space and the strategies and structured approaches that have been adopted by the government. He said, “Demand for energy is growing at a terrifying pace in India and yet not fast enough if we take into account the per capita consumption in India.Sources of energy are depleting at a fast pace and we are already importing 80 per cent of our oil and 25 per cent of our gas requirements. Going forward, if we continue to grow at 8-9 per cent import dependence is likely to increase and India would be importing 35-57% of coal, 90-94% of oil and 20-57% of gas by 2031-32.” Highlighting the key thrust areas, he said, “There is a need to better integration for strategising with international markets and enhancing relations with energy exporting countries. At the domestic level, we need to optimally exploit and utilise our energy resources; leverage on opportunities provided by coal bed methane and shale gas and develop technologies to scale up renewable energy. In addition in the nuclear field there needs to be some clarity in public perception.
b) Mentioning some of the achievements and initiatives taken by the government, he said “We have made progress in linking India’s electricity grid, the second largest in the world with Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh,. In addition, we plan to put in place additional gas pipeline network of 15,000 km and are in the process of increasing our LNG capacity to 45 million metric tonnes per annum from the current 13.5 mmtpa and have put in place a roadmap for the ambitions Turkmenistan TAPI Gas Pipeline to be commissioned by 2017.”
c) Reiterating the importance of energy security, Mr Adi Godrej, President, CII and Chairman, Godrej Group, said, “Increasing energy requirements coupled with a slower than expected increase in domestic crude oil and natural gas production has led to a strong reliance on imports and has drawn attention to the importance of Energy Security.” Emphasising the need for a strong focus on both strengthening the domestic energy sources as well as acquisition of energy assets overseas, he further said, “Measures to scale up renewable energy and expedite the exploration and production of oil, gas and coal to enhance domestic production need to be put in place.” He further added that strategic alliances and joint ventures as well as the establishment of a sovereign energy fund will enable successful acquisition of energy assets overseas.
d) In his concluding remarks, Mr Sudhir Vyas, Secretary (Economic Relations), Ministry of External Affairs said, “We have been working with the line ministeries, Public and private sector to enable energy asset acquitistion.” He further added that there is a need to explore how synergies and tradeoffs can be developed; cooperation enhanced and opportunities leveraged to ensure the nation’s energy security. He said, “It is imperative that all key stakeholders need to work together on this key issue.”
e) In the course of his remarks, Mr Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII, said,“ Energy Security has clearly emerged as a key concern for India. To succeed in winning international energy assets, India urgently needs a value added strategic road map towards acquisition of overseas Energy Assets.”
Given continuing uncertainties with regard to supplies, energy security has emerged as a matter of priority and concern for India. In the present context, India needs to adopt a multi-pronged and coordinated energy strategy which requires acquisition of energy assets overseas and diversification of energy supply, increasing the domestic supply of crude oil and gas by fast-tracking upstream activities; substituting oil consumption by gas and other alternative energy sources like increasing reliance on renewable sources of energy such as nuclear, solar, wind and bio-fuels; improving energy efficiency, increasing own hydro-electricity production as well as developing mutually beneficial models to tap the hydro-electricity potential in neighboring countries and augmenting transfer of advanced technology.
It was on this back ground that CII along with Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India organised an International Conference on 'Energy Security 2012' on 13 December 2012 at New Delhi.
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