India declared today its “Association” status with the International Energy Agency (IEA). At a brief ceremony here, Shri Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy & Mines handed over the formal letter in this regard to Dr. Fatih Birol, Executive Director, IEA. Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas and senior officers of Ministries of Power and Petroleum & Natural Gas were also present on the occasion. Addressing the gathering, Shri Goyal said that India attaining an Association status is expected to serve as a bridge and platform for wide ranging and deeper cooperation and collaboration between IEA Member and Association countries. The IEA which covers the entire spectrum of energy globally, will play an important role in India’s energy security context. With enhanced cooperation with the IEA, India would be able to play a more visible and influential role in the future global energy governance landscape. The Minister envisaged a greater partnership with IEA in taking forward the International Solar Alliance framework to other countries in the world.
Further, Shri Goyal said that India pursues its key development objectives of energy access, energy security and environmental sustainability. In this context, India has a vision of ensuring 24×7 affordable and environment friendly ‘Power for All’ and deeper engagement with IEA is a component of achieving this vision. The Minister added that this does not cast any additional obligation on India, however gives an opportunity for the country to become the voice of the developing countries. Speaking on the occasion Shri Pradhan informed that India is world’s 3rd largest consumer of energy, hence a very big market for catering he energy demands of a billion plus people. He added that it is essential to realize mutual benefits for India & IEA in the global energy space.
Attaching great importance of this development, Dr. Birol said that today over 70% of world’s energy consumption is under the IEA umbrella which increases its relevance in global energy governance manifold. He added that since India is moving fast to the centre stage of Global Energy landscape, as pointed out by IEA’s India Energy Outlook 2015, IEA would look forward to increasing engagement with India in the areas like renewable energy, energy efficiency, among others. Today, IEA is an important part of global dialogue on energy, providing research, data/statistics, analysis and recommendations on the global energy sector. India’s engagement with the IEA has enhanced over the last two decades and the “Association” status would facilitate it to participate in meetings of the standing groups, committees and working groups that constitute the IEA governance structure.
India can also richly gain from IEA’s data gathering processes, survey methodologies and range of energy data, which could enable India in the near future to set up its own robust integrated database agency. India’s participation will enrichen the energy efficiency and renewable sectors of IEA member and other countries.