May 31, 2005
The US Secretary for Energy, Dr. Samuel W. Bodman and the Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission of India, Dr. Montek Singh Ahluwalia met in Washington, DC on May 31, 2005 to launch a new bilateral India - U.S. Energy Dialogue. The establishment of the Dialogue reflects the transformed strategic relationship between the U.S. and India as called for by President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Secretary Bodman and Dr. Ahluwalia agreed that it was important to show progress in the Energy Dialogue before the visit to the U.S of Prime Minister Singh.
The Energy Dialogue will build upon the broad range of existing energy cooperation between the two countries as well as develop new avenues of collaboration. Its work will be organized across five Working Groups, which will be supervised by a Steering Committee. Secretary Bodman named David Garman, Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, as the U. S. co-chair of the Steering Committee, and Dr. Ahluwalia named Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran as the Indian co-chair. Together, they will promote increased trade and investment in the energy sector and work with the public as well as private sectors to identify areas of cooperation and collaboration. The first meetings of the working groups are expected to take place prior to the visit of Prime Minister Singh.
The Steering Committee will guide and manage the overall direction of the Dialogue, including activities of the Working Groups. It will establish broad goals and timelines and ensure coordination among the Working Groups on crosscutting issues such as energy security, future energy scenarios and trade and investment. The Working Groups will address such topics as oil and natural gas, electric power, coal and clean coal technology, energy efficiency, renewable energy, new technologies such as hydrogen, and civil nuclear power.
The salient goals of the various working groups will include:
Strengthening mutual energy security and promoting stable energy markets to ensure adequate supplies of energy that will support desired levels of economic growth; exchanging information and developing lines of communication for policy coordination in times of market instability; promoting increased trade and investment in the oil and gas sector.
Advancing understanding of efficient generation, transmission, distribution and use of electricity and promoting the exchange of information on regulatory policies; cooperating on programs and technologies with special emphasis on the "last mile" distribution and utilization of electricity in urban and rural networks; developing cooperation on clean coal preparation and modern coal conversion systems in power generation.
Enhancing the understanding of coal-related energy issues and promoting the exchange of information on policies, programs, and technologies with special emphasis on coal utilization for power generation and clean fuels production; promoting the efficient and environmentally responsible use of coal.
Promoting the development and deployment of clean energy technologies and energy conservation practices that will improve the efficiency of energy use leading to enhanced energy security and stable energy markets that will support desired levels of economic growth with appropriate concern for the environment.
Dialogue and action on issues associated with civilian uses of nuclear energy and its control; exchanges between the Department of Energy and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and India’s Department of Atomic Energy and Atomic Energy Regulatory Board on each country’s nuclear energy-related initiatives, practices, research interests, regulatory oversight and view of the role of nuclear energy in meeting global energy requirements; discussions on fusion science and related fundamental research topics.