Washington: Access to clean, reliable and affordable sources of energy is a major policy priority for India, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said.
"The scale of energy challenges in India requires not just investments, but also innovation in how we produce and consume energy," Singh said in a message to the Fourth US-India Energy Partnership Summit.
"Access to clean, reliable and affordable sources of energy is a major policy priority for India, which seeks to pursue economic growth of eight to nine percent per year in a sustainable manner. This is imperative to give all our people a life of equity, opportunity and prosperity," Singh said.
His message was read out by the Indian Ambassador to the US Nirupama Rao during the two-day conference organised by TERI in association with Yale University. "In recent years, through the India-US Energy Dialogue, our bilateral co-operation has made remarkable progress in seeking solutions to the energy challenges of our times," Singh said in his message to the conference.
The conference is being attended by two of his Cabinet Ministers — M Pallam Raju and Farooq Abdullah - and was addressed by Al Gore the former US Vice President and Daniel Poneman, the Acting Energy Secretary.
Abdullah said it is time for action and not signing memorandums. Noting that India is at the new threshold of growth, Abdullah said India is an energy deficient nation and called for more collaboration with the United States in the renewable energy sector.
India needs massive investment in the renewable energy sector which is estimated to be between USD 60-70 billion in the next five years.
In her remarks Rao urged the US Government to approve the export of US shale gas to India. This is a win-win proposition for both sides - ensuring energy security for India and revenue supply to the US.
The Department of Energy is expected to soon take a decision on this. Rao said the India-US energy dialogue focuses on critical areas of social development, adding that the potential is immense.
"I know for the fact that so much progress is being made in this relationship," she said. The two countries are also developing a joint strategy of clean energy development. Richard Levin of the Yale University said the need for collaboration between India and the US in clean energy is ever more important today.
"Urgency is greater than ever," he said adding that there is need to move away from fossil fuels in order to save the planet.