After the recent WTO ruling against India on the issue of local content of solar panels, India must revise its renewable energy strategy in favour of wind power. Instead of imported solar panels, India’s renewable capacities can use locally-manufactured windmills.
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The WTO judgment on the India-U.S. dispute on solar panels shows how rules across different international regimes – climate change, trade and nuclear power – favor the countries which set those rules. India must deepen its participation in such multilateral fora to protect its interests.
Saudi Arabia, Russia and other oil producers are trying to cap oil production to support prices. Such distortions are unlikely to work. India should be more concerned about the long term rise in oil prices due to falling investment in exploration and production – and should protect itself by acquiring oil and gas assets to cover its energy needs.
India’s recent ratification of the nuclear liability convention is being portrayed as a dilution of India’s stand on civil nuclear liability and its own 2010 law on the subject. This is, however, incorrect, and India’s stand on nuclear liability remains unchanged.
The common Indian complaint is that, despite a global trend of falling crude oil prices, the price of petrol has not reduced. However, if the dollar price is examined with the price of oil, it becomes clear that Indians are paying less for fuel now than they would have, had the 2003 pricing trend continued.
India could save $80 billion annually if oil prices stay at the current 12-year low. Policy-makers must use this opportunity to lock-in energy prices for the long-term. Financial markets, through futures and options, offer a way to make these savings permanent, and the Ministry of Finance must formulate ground rules for hedging.
Village-scale solar powered minigrids are the most promising path for India to meet its linked aims of GDP growth and access to electricity for all. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy is already active on this front, but a comprehensive and standardised national minigrid policy that facilitates private sector involvement and eases financing, will allow this model to flourish
COP21 could have spelled doom for India’s growth push if it had insisted on a peak emissions year for all participants, or spelled out explicit restrictions on coal. It has done neither, and continues to recognise the principle of differentiated responsibilities
The GCC finds itself engulfed by a perfect storm – due to the oil price fall and the re-emergence of Iran on the world scene. While the GCC is forced to undertake politically challenging reforms and confront the regional challenge of Iran, there lies a great opportunity for India to strengthen their economic as well as security ties.
Iran has emerged on to the world stage after 36 years of isolation. India must double up its diplomacy and commercial engagement with Iran, and move boldly beyond the curtain of ‘civilisational’ ties. Time to put that natural advantage to good commercial use through a vigorous private sector engagement with Tehran.