Energy Security

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  • Blessy asked: What factors affect India’s energy security requirements? How do these factors affect India’s national security?

    Shebonti Ray Dadwal replies

    1. India is dependent on fossil fuels to meet its growing demand, in which it is deficient. Despite the effort to enhance domestic production, dependence on imported resources continues to increase. Hence, India needs assured access to imported energy supplies. Therefore, energy diplomacy is important to gain access to not only supplies, but also overseas assets, for which strong bilateral relations are required to gain preferential access to both. Moreover, gas is still a largely regional market; hence, gaining access to gas supplies will also depend on the attractiveness of the Indian market and relations with supplier countries.

    2. Since renewable energy resources is a growing market, both for energy security as well as climate change considerations, access to new energy related technologies is important. The R&D investment in India remains modest at best, if not poor. At the same time, India needs to negotiate with developed countries with requisite cutting edge technology to gain access to the same at affordable prices.

    3. India needs to create an attractive investment climate to woo foreign companies in the energy sector across the board. With the current subsidy regime that is prevailing, many companies/countries are wary or unwilling to invest in the energy sector. Hence, sensible pricing policies that can promote economic partnership with countries that have energy resources and technologies are required.

    4. Without adequate and affordable energy supply, as well as a good delivery system to ensure that modern forms of energy are accessible to undeveloped areas, India's economic growth will not be sustained and/or will remain skewed. This can lead to instability in the poorer and less developed parts of the country. Areas that are most affected by political instability today are the ones that are largely under-developed.

    5. If India wants to be counted as an emerging economy with global influence, it will have to ensure that its economic growth is sustained. One of the main components of economic growth is energy security, without which the infrastructure will remain stunted.

    Can Unconventional Gas Be a Game-Changer for India?

    The discovery of extracting unconventional (shale) gas through hydraulic fracturing has revolutionised the gas industry in the US and has given rise to a debate over whether it has the potential to reverse the emerging geopolitical equations in the global energy sector which was hitherto seen to be tilting in favour of the conventional energy producers.

    March 2012

    Beyond the Indus Water Treaty: A Perspective on Kashmir’s “Power” Woes

    At the core of the Kashmiri discourse on the shortage of power is the distribution of water resources that was agreed to between India and Pakistan through the instrumentality of the Indus Water Treaty.

    February 02, 2012

    EU Oil embargo on Iran—China is now the pivot

    All China has to do is to purchase Iranian oil and off-set this against a supply of essential consumer goods from China to Iran and settle the accounts in Chinese Yuan.

    January 30, 2012

    Blessy asked: Is the Integrated Energy Policy of India sufficient to meet its energy demand?

    Shebonti Ray Dadwal replies: This is a strange question. The Integrated Energy Policy (IEP) of 2006 was intended to provide a road map for a holistic and long-term approach to India's energy policy -- as opposed to the hitherto ad hocism that pervaded energy planning and strategy. Till the IEP, India had no overarching energy policy as such, and ministries were looking at various aspects of energy -- oil and gas, coal, power, renewable energy, etc., as separate and distinct from one another, and sometimes were even at odds with each other. The IEP was the first attempt to look at energy policy in a holistic manner. Whether it succeeded is doubtful. Like the recommendations made by earlier committees, the recommendations of the IEP have remained just that without few if any of them being put into practice. One of the main problems that have been identified as a barrier to enhancing energy security is the pricing policy and system of subsidies that are provided in several areas of the energy sector - oil, power, water, renewable energy, coal, etc. This deters investment from the private sector, both domestic and foreign, and denies access to state-of-the-art technology. It also leads to pricing discrepancy and black marketeering, as well as losses to PSUs across the board. It certainly does not add to energy security; on the contrary, it contributes to energy insecurity.

    More specifically, some of the recommendations of the IEP have been criticised as being unrealistic and given to populism. So, in short, while the IEP was a noteworthy attempt at looking at energy security in a holistic manner, it has not really added to India's energy security.

    A Time Series Forecast of Geopolitical Market Concentration (GMC) Risk: An Analysis of the Crude Oil Diversification Portfolio of India

    The oil-rich Middle East region is always seen as a politically volatile region, but it has been the source of crude oil supply to all major consumers worldwide for decades. The article makes an empirical analysis of the geopolitical risk of India's diversification portfolio, which is skewed towards the Middle East.

    January 2012

    India's Overseas Assets: Do They Contribute to Energy Security?

    When a resource-deficient country becomes industrialised lifestyles become increasingly energy intensive, compelling it to seek resources overseas.

    January 2012

    China’s Pipelines in Myanmar

    In order to meet its energy demands, China is constructing oil and gas pipelines in Myanmar, almost reaching to the seashores of Bay of Bengal.

    January 10, 2012

    Mapping Chinese Oil and Gas Pipelines and Sea Routes

    China is pursuing an energy policy to alleviate its import dependence, diversify the sources and routes of imported oil and prepare for supply disruption. China's import of hydrocarbons is growing rapidly. Besides sea transport from West Asia and other oil rich countries of both crude and liquefied natural gas, China has also identified diverse import routes for oil and gas by overland pipelines. Some projects are now complete and many are under construction or in the planning stage.

    July 2011

    Energy Crises and Riots in Pakistan

    Implementing the necessary reforms in Pakistan’s power sector requires able leadership and internal stability as well as a conducive and transparent environment for attracting investment.

    October 11, 2011