India and France have long been reliable partners, and friends in need. The fifth meeting between the leaders of the two countries highlights the focus on strengthening cooperation in 21st century issues. The India-France Track 1.5 Dialogue, hosted by Gateway House, Mumbai and Ifri, Paris, explored the potential of cooperation in digitalisation and energy transition
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Last month, the Government of India released its Green Hydrogen Policy with the goal of boosting energy self-reliance and inspiring clean energy transitions. The time is right for the Indo-Pacific economies to finance green hydrogen projects and integrate them into supply chains.
Renewable energy is trendy, but still unreliable at this early stage. Countries will find it necessary to fall back on traditional energy sources like coal and oil for their needs, and this can lead to energy price spikes. To protect itself from this scenario, now is the time for energy-dependent India to set up a wealth fund that invests in listed oil companies around the world, to reduce the risk of energy insecurity.
Saurabh Kumar, Secretary (East), Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, delivered the keynote address at the panel discussion on India in the Indo-Pacific: Pursuing Prosperity and Security, organised by Gateway House and the U.S. Embassy, New Delhi, on 1 February 2022. He outlined India's vision for a free and inclusive Indo-Pacific, and the initiatives undertaken to further cooperation among nations in the region.
The Indo-Pacific has become an important part of global geopolitics in the recent past, with several great powers implementing concerted Indo-Pacific policies to create economic, social and security linkages with the region. India can use its development experience and futuristic technology to secure stability and prosperity. This compendium of essays explores the comprehensive role that India can play in the Indo-Pacific, from energy and environment, to trade, security, technology and a vibrant diaspora.
Since August 2021, Western Europe has faced a problem with renewable energy, causing it to turn to natural gas as an emergency alternative. This has led to a significant increase in gas prices and has serious implications for fertiliser and food prices. If this trend continues, it will be likely to cause food insecurity especially in poorer nations which do not have the monetary cushion of the West.
India is the world's third largest importer of oil after China and the U.S. and a major player providing demand security for oil exporters. The technological changes and geopolitical shifts in the oil economy from the West to the East, highlights India's position as a valuable partner in renewable energy, and oil security and production. The book explores the various elements of India's dependence on imported oil, and how it can turn to an advantage. This excerpt analyses the alternatives to the current West-dominated oil markets and industry that are available to India as a leading consumer.
India and Russia are natural partners for energy collaboration. India imports 85% of its oil while Russia is one of the largest exporters. An expanded bilateral investment strategy, especially in liquefied natural gas can help Russia access new markets and India meet its energy requirements. This mutually beneficial collaboration can re-affirm trust between the two countries, amidst complex geopolitical realities.
While several Bay of Bengal countries are rich in hydropower and thermal electricity generation, others are net energy importers with large markets. India can lead creative energy projects with its eastern neighbours, supported by regional and international institutions.
The Bay of Bengal is gaining relevance as a significant sub-region within the Indo-Pacific. Despite its importance to regional security, there is inadequate financial, physical, and energy connectivity. India must use its strategic and political pre-eminence and influence in the sub-region to pursue deeper connectivity with Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Nepal, and Sri Lanka and to block China's growing influence.