India's Energy Options: New Sources, Innovations and Areas of Cooperation

  • Tuesday, Oct 18, 2011

  • India needs a holistic approach to energy policy, Shell India chairman Vikram Mehta argued, pointing to five hard truths about the Indian energy sector: energy demand is surging, supplies are struggling to keep pace, technology is underutilized, the institutional structure does not support an integrated energy policy, and the environment is suffering. Mehta, the first in a new CSIS speaker series that examines various sectors of the Indian economy, was hosted by Ambassador Karl Inderfurth, the CSIS Wadhwani Chair in U.S.-India Policy Studies.

    Energy demand in India is expected to grow by 400 percent by 2030, Mehta said. While fossil fuels will remain the base for the coming years (93 percent of India’s energy is currently supplied by fossil fuels), India must think hard about moving toward renewable fuels while weakening the link between economic growth, energy demand, and environmental degradation. There is no way to meet energy security aspirations while focusing only on supply, Mehta said, calling demand conservation and energy efficiency a “low hanging fruit.”

    Mehta argued that India should do more to harness indigenous hydrocarbon fuels; improve infrastructure to boost natural gas use as a bridge to renewable energies; rationalize fuel prices by reducing subsidies; boost R&D investment; increase oil diplomacy efforts; and create a single super ministry to focus on energy policy.

    With guest speaker
    Mr. Vikram Mehta, Chairman of the Shell Group of Companies, India

    India is the world’s fourth-largest energy consumer, and is projected to be the third-largest by 2030.  India’s continued economic growth and energy security are intimately associated, in substantial need of a modern and diversified energy supply, and a high priority for closer U.S.-India collaboration and cooperation.

    Please join us for a discussion about India’s Energy Options with Mr. Vikram Mehta, Chairman of Shell Group of Companies, India.

    Please RSVP to Nick Lombardo by e-mail (

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