Shri Salman Khurshid, Union Minister for External Affairs said that India need to go for better integration with international markets for strategizing Energy Security and enhancing relations with energy exporting countries. He emphasised on the strategic and economic importance of energy security, the opportunities in this space and the strategies and structured approaches adopted by the government. Addressing the inaugural session of the “Energy Security Conference 2012” organized jointly by the Ministry of External Affairs and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in New Delhi today, Shri Salman Khurshid said that the 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, he said. He said that at the domestic level, we need to optimally exploit and utilize 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 clarity in public perception, he said.
On 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.”
Focusing on the importance of energy security, Shri 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 strengthening the domestic energy sources as well as acquisition of energy assets overseas, he 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.
In his address on the occasion, Shri Sudhir Vyas, Secretary (Economic Relations) said Ministry of External Affairs has been working with the line ministries, public and private sector to enable energy asset acquisition. 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.
Shri Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII said in his address that the 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.