India has done little to bridge energy supply-demand gap

By: | Updated: June 25, 2016 12:14 PM

India has done very little in the last few decades by way of harmonizing its governance structures to secure its energy needs despite a surging demand to fuel its growing economy, and the crisis may worsen in the coming years...

energy supply indiaThese are all policy inadequacies that contributed to the increase in demand of energy,” said Brookings India Chairman Vikram Singh Mehta, who previously served with Shell India as its CEO. (Reuters)

India has done very little in the last few decades by way of harmonizing its governance structures to secure its energy needs despite a surging demand to fuel its growing economy, and the crisis may worsen in the coming years, a policy discussion forum here was told.

“We have done very little over the last few decades to make the policy linkages between energy-environment and climate change. We did not pay enough attention on energy infrastructure, conservation, subsidisation of LPG and petrol.

These are all policy inadequacies that contributed to the increase in demand of energy,” said Brookings India Chairman Vikram Singh Mehta, who previously served with Shell India as its CEO.

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Mehta was speaking at a roundtable, ‘India’s Energy Security and Climate Change Commitments: Policy Challenges’, organized by Delhi-based think tank Society for Policy Studies (SPS) in association with the India International Centre (IIC) on Friday evening.

He said government policies had failed to balance the pace between surging demand and supply constraints that caused the current energy crisis in India, the fifth largest energy consumer in the world.

India is home to nearly 18 per cent of the global population but uses only six per cent of the world’s primary energy resources and the country is set for a sustained growth in energy demand with its growing economy, according to the Energy Outlook 2015.

“The energy crisis facing India is because the demand is surging and the supply is failing to keep pace with demand,” Mehta said, pointing out that the demand was due to the rising population and growing prosperity in the country.

“India has a large population. And the youth are aspirational too. We have developed and are now entering the high energy trajectory of consumption,” said Mehta, who also served as strategic planning advisor in the state-run Oil India Ltd.

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