IEA enhances co-operation with India on energy policy and technology research

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Dr Birol (right) and Arvind Panagariya( Photo: IEA)

The International Energy Agency (IEA) will enhance its co-operation with India in numerous fields including forecasting and data as part of an agreement signed Friday between IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol and Arvind Panagariya, the Vice-Chairman of the National Institution for the Transformation of India (NITI) Aayog.

The Statement of Intent, signed during Dr. Panagariya’s visit to IEA headquarters, provides an umbrella accord for the many IEA research and policy initiatives that apply to broader energy issues.

“As India moves to the centre of the global energy stage, it is vital that the IEA and our members step up our level of engagement,” said Dr. Birol. “This agreement will allow us to do that by improving  mutual understanding of the functioning of energy markets in the world.”

The IEA already shares with India best energy practices it has gleaned from its own analysis as well as the experiences of its member countries. The Statement of Intent will push forward ongoing IEA-India work in a number of cross-cutting issues that apply to the country’s energy system. These issues include work for the Agency’s flagship publication, World Energy Outlook (WEO), as well as modelling, forecasting and identification of data needs.

The agreement also expands on ongoing joint research on relevant technologies and analysis of global trends in pricing and supply of energy supplies, plus development of human resources development strategies for the energy sector. The two parties agree to look into regular exchange of statistics and other energy sector information as well as increased seminars, training, and visits involving researchers and other experts.

Created by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi after he took office in 2014, NITI Aayog is designed to function as both a think tank and a policy forum. Dr. Panagariya, whose post ranks as a cabinet minister, is also India’s Group of 20 Sherpa, representing the Prime Minister at international meetings to prepare for the G20 summit this September in Hangzhou, China.

During his visit to the IEA, Dr. Panagariya delivered a speech as part of the big IdEAs distinguished lecture series on the Indian economy’s development and outlook.

Dr. Birol was one of a handful of energy experts recently invited by Prime Minister Modi to brief him on the global energy outlook. The meeting followed publication of the WEO Special Report India Energy Outlook 2015 and India’s participation in the 2015 IEA Ministerial meeting.

India participates in seven IEA Technology Collaboration Programmes (TCPs), furthering research in demand-side management, fusion and fossil fuels. TCPs bring together government, academic and other experts from around the world to share latest developments and discoveries in a host of energy technology and policy subjects.

Photo © OECD/IEA 2016, by Andrew Wheeler

About the IEA

Founded in 1974, the International Energy Agency was initially designed to help countries co-ordinate a collective response to major disruptions in the supply of oil. While this remains a key aspect of its work, the IEA has evolved and expanded. It is at the heart of global dialogue on energy, providing authoritative statistics and analysis. The IEA examines the full spectrum of energy issues and advocates policies that will enhance the reliability, affordability and sustainability of energy in its 29 member countries and beyond.