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Posted on Dec 14, 06:11AM | IANS
India would enhance relations with energy exporting countries and strategise with international markets to meet its growing energy needs, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said Thursday.
Saying that the country's demand for energy is growing at a "terrifying pace", he said, "There is a need to explore, enhance, develop and fortify relations with energy exporting countries and also develop technologies for alternate energy sources."
The minister was addressing the "Energy Security Conference 2012" organised here jointly by the Ministry of External Affairs and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in the capital.
Stressing the strategic and economic importance of achieving energy security, he said: "There is a need to better integration for strategising with international markets and enhancing relations with energy exporting countries."
At the domestic level, he said, the country needed to optimally exploit and utilise its 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 some clarity in public perception."
Referring to to the growing energy demand and the per capita consumption, he said sources of energy were depleting fast and the country was importing 80 percent of oil and 25 percent of its gas requirements.
"Going forward, if we continue to grow at 8-9 percent, import dependence is likely to increase and India would be importing 35-57 percent of coal, 90-94 percent of oil and 20-57 percent of gas by 2031-32."
Mentioning some of the 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."
Sudhir Vyas, Secretary, Economic Relations, said: "We have been working with the line ministeries, public and private sector to enable energy asset acquitistion."
He added that there was a need to explore how synergies and tradeoffs could be developed, cooperation enhanced and opportunities leveraged to ensure the nation's energy security.
"It is imperative that all key stakeholders need to work together on this key issue," Vyas said.
CII president Adi Godrej said that strategic alliances and joint ventures as well as the establishment of a sovereign energy fund would enable successful acquisition of energy assets overseas.