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Vikas Kalyani asked: With oil crisis arising, what should India do to reverse the energy crisis & become self sustained in energy requirements & fulfillment?

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  • Shebonti Ray Dadwal replies: Apart from the fact that an oil "crisis" is unlikely, the fact remains that prices, and not supply will become the main issue of concern. If we are talking about the oil market per se, India can do little in terms of increasing supply given its limited reserves and growing demand, and it will have to keep importing the same. Apart from diversifying oil import sources from the Middle East region and looking at tying up long term deals with other countries (Africa, Latin America, Russia) to take advantage of preferential pricing in the short term, as well as investing in foreign oil blocks/equity, India should do the following for the medium to long term:

    1. Reduce demand by initiating better demand management.

    2. Implement recommendations on subsidies on oil pricing to reflect the real price of oil, which in turn can reduce demand.

    3. Introduce strict norms for auto industry (which is the largest consumer of oil), in terms of energy efficient technology.

    4. Improve and encourage mass transport as against private vehicles.

    5. Invest more in R&D to hasten the transition to third generation cellulosic biofuels.