The International conference on Energy Security Challenges–Non Traditional Security planning in India was yet another attempt by the Centre for Public Policy Research (CPPR), to focus on one of the most challenging themes of current times. Given its global outlook and ramifications, energy security demands an integrated approach and strategic positioning, especially for a country such as India.
Several factors have contributed to the unprecedented predominance that the energy security debate has achieved in international dialogue and diplomacy: the growth of new economic power centres; the fluctuating price of fossil fuels over the last three years; global warming due to climate change; the threat of terrorism, instability in some exporting nations; power blackouts and chronic shortages of power in several countries. Power blackouts have occurred on the east and west coasts of the United States, in Europe and in Russia while chronic shortages of electric power are being faced by China, India and other developing countries.
Given the fundamental need for energy to fuel a country’s economic growth, these power crises have caused concern not only about the reliability of electricity supply systems, but also raised fears of a scramble for energy supplies and heightened geopolitical rivalries. Thus the situation at the global level does not seem very positive. However, there have been attempts by several countries to streamline and reassert state control by installing new transportation channels and pipelines, hoping to offset the stark scarcity of their domestic resources through diversification, trade and investment in the energy sector.
“Energy independence” is a phrase that has become a mantra since it was first articulated by Richard Nixon four weeks after the 1973 oil embargo was put in place. This national aspiration had long been at odds with reality for the United States. The real mood and the state of the nation was captured by President Obama in 2009 when he stated, “At a time of such great challenge for America, no single issue is as fundamental to our future as energy” In recent years, new energy suppliers, technological developments like hydraulic fracturing and the US shale gas boom have redrawn the global energy scenario and caused significant geopolitical shifts.
That energy issues are fundamental to India’s future is an undeniable fact. The country’s energy imports come at the cost of 7% of its GDP and is more often ruptured by the country’s balance of payment, which takes an ugly turn with the fluctuations in the energy market.
India, the world’s fourth largest energy consumer, imports 80% of its crude oil and 25% of its natural gas requirements. Around 600 million Indians do not have access to electricity and about 700 million Indians use biomass as their primary energy source for cooking, according to Indian Government sources. India’s energy demand is expected to become more than double, from below 700 million tonnes of oil equivalent (mtoe) in 2013 to around 1,500 million tonnes of oil equivalent by 2035, according to estimates made by the oil ministry. Hence, the issue of energy security is undoubtedly a major concern for India as well as the United States.
The Book can be read by clicking on to this link : Energy Security Challenges: Non Traditional Security Planning in India