India Moving to Centre Stage of Global Energy System: IEA

SINGAPORE: India is moving to the centre stage of international energy system but needs investments to move forward, a global inter-governmental organisation on Monday said, welcoming the country as a "special guest" to the grouping's meet next month.

International Energy Agency (IEA) executive director Fatih Birol said the organisation would like to see India and China join the grouping during its meet in Paris on November 17-18.

"We are hoping to see both Chinese and Indian ministers in that meeting as our special guests, which will hopefully strengthen the ties we have with those countries," he said.

India and China are associate partner countries of IEA and are "very close" to the grouping, he said.

Birol applauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi's initiatives on energy and 'Make in India,' but acknowledged the challenges in raising investments.

"India is moving to the centre stage of global energy system in terms of electricity, coal, renewables and oil," he said.

"What India needs is three things in order to realise what Modi has in mind - investment, investment and investment," he told reporters after a speech at the Singapore International Energy Week, which opened on Monday.

He said India would need these "three things" for power sector, gas and coal and that private sector investment was crucial to support projects.

The IEA will release a special report on Indian energy sector in New Delhi on November 27.

Birol said the report on India was part of IEA's annual country study for this year. The report covers India's current and future energy scenarios.

"We have looked at India very closely this year," he said.

Touching on oil subsidies cuts, he said, "I would commend three countries, mainly - India, Indonesia and Malaysia. To cut subsidies is not an easy business."

But Birol said the timing was excellent to cut subsidies.

"We have now low oil prices. Therefore, it gives a very good opportunity to cut the subsidy gradually," he said.

The world oil subsidies are averaging at USD 500 billion a year, four times of those for the development of renewables, according to Birol who urged governments to lend strong support in setting up renewable energies.
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Source: PTI