TERI-North America organizes the 2nd US-India Energy Partnership Summit 2010: Technologies & Policies for Energy Security.
Ahead of President Barack Obama visit to India, the high-level summit deliberates on strategies and activities for Indo-U.S. collaboration on energy security as they move towards low carbon economic pathways
Washington DC, 29 September 2010: Carrying the momentum of unprecedented cooperation and providing the perfect setting for deliberation on strategies and activities for Indo-U.S. collaboration towards energy security ahead of the much awaited visit of President Barack Obama to India in November, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) North America organized the second annual U.S.-India Energy Partnership Summit. The summit themed “Technologies and Policies for Energy Security” was co-convened by Yale University with support from the US-INDIA Business Council (USIBC) and drew over 200 participants from government, industry, think tanks, academia, banks and the finance sector.
India and the United States share a large capital in science and technology manpower, and in innovation and enhancing it to tackle the challenges of energy security was the focus of experts and policymakers from the two countries at the high-level conference. The Summit provided the perfect setting for deliberations on strategies and activities for Indo-U.S. collaboration towards energy security for both countries, as they move towards low carbon economic pathways.
US Energy Secretary Dr Steven Chu in his video message said “the partnership between the two countries to advance clean energy drawing on India's world class science resources that was developed during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to the US last year will be given high priority during President Obama's visit to India in November.” Dr Chu, a Nobel Prize winner in physics, asserted that India and the US faced some similar challenges with growing energy consumption and dependence on imported energy resources.
Dr RK. Pachauri, Director General TERI and President TERI-North America, in his address said that it was imperative for India and the US to pool their resources – the skills, technological capabilities and innovativeness – to develop policies and solutions to the challenges of energy security. “President Obama's November visit will be important for ramping up the cooperation to deal with the problems that both countries face and this summit would help develop a roadmap for policymakers who will be setting the agenda for the visit”. He further added that to boost cooperation between the two countries in the energy field, his organization had set up TERI North America. Dr Pachauri is also Director at the Yale Climate & Energy Institute and Chairman of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, on whose behalf he received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007.
Richard C Levin, President of Yale University, in his address said that “institutions have to play a constructive role in dealing with energy security and climate change issues.” He cited the efforts of Yale in joint research in forestry, and curriculum and academic exchanges.
John Holdren, the Assistant to the US President for Science and Technology, outlined the longstanding cooperation between the two countries in energy and environment and said that during Obama's visit clean energy technology and finance agreements will take the joint endeavors to a higher level.
Representative Ed Markey, Chairman of the House of Representatives Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, referred to the recording this week of the hottest day on record in Los Angeles that underscored the tremendous surges in weather extremes in 2010 caused by heat-trapping pollution. He said that “India and the US share the same resources – a research and development infrastructure and a tradition of innovation – that will help find ways to deal with the problem.” He cited the telecommunication revolution where the US went from “black rotary dial telephones to Blackberries” in less than a decade. “The revolution came about because of policy changes and similarly the catalyst for a revolution in the energy field will be policy changes” he added.
Representative Brian Baird said that the US was strongly committed to a 50-50 partnership with India in the energy field. “We need every smart brain working” on energy issues.”
Todd Stern, the US Special Envoy for Climate Change, said that India and the US were robust democracies that share an entrepreneurial spirit, innovation and people capable of working on science and technology research. He said that the PACE program of cooperation in clean energy launched last year will get a US government funding of $50 million over the next five years.
Christopher Flavin, the President of the World Watch Institute, said that strategically for India and the US the developments in China were important as it was rapidly developing innovations and pricing in alternative energy sources. “While democracies have some inefficiencies, both of us have to overcome this – US and India have to learn to work together.”
Several of the experts talked of the importance of the private sector in finding solutions to energy problems and in fostering cooperation between the two countries. Rep. Markey said that the private sector has more resources and has to drive the change in the energy sector. Rep. Baird said that while solutions are unlikely to come from the Congress, the private sector can provide solutions.
Mr. Clay Nesler, the Vice President for Global Energy and Sustainability for Johnson Controls, cited the project undertaken with the Clinton Climate Initiative to retrofit a mall in Mumbai to make it more energy efficient and as a model for others in India.
Ms Naina Lal Kidwai, the Group General Manager and Country Head for HSBC, said that India builds the equivalent of one Chicago every year and, therefore, it was important to design them to be energy efficient from the start.
Ms Meera Shankar Ambassador of the Republic of India to the US said that among the areas for cooperation between India and the US was creating a joint research center with an investment of $25 million to $30 million each to develop smart grids, new energy sources and other technologies in clean energy, mapping and development of shale gas and innovating in the regulatory areas like building.
Soon after the U.S.-India Energy Summit in 2009, President Obama and
Prime Minister Singh signed a memorandum of understanding that included
a U.S.-India Green Partnership, and recently, in June 2010, the two countries
held the inaugural round of the U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue. This year’s
Summit, again like last year’s Summit comes at a crucial time when both
countries are looking forward to ink new cooperation agreements as they
face unique yet related challenges, and there are clear areas of synergy
that can be identified for bilateral cooperation.
1. Ms Annapurna Vancheswaran, Mobile: 1(203)-627-0119,
2. TERI North America, 55 Whitney Ave Suite 416, New Haven, Connecticut, 06511, Tel: +203-432-7932, Fax: +203-436-4631, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org