Several agreements signed at US-India Strategic Energy Partnership ministerial meeting

The two sides launched a public-private Hydrogen Task Force to help scale up technologies to produce hydrogen from renewable energy and fossil fuel sources and to bring down the cost of deployment for enhanced energy security and resiliency

New Delhi: Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan and US Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette in a virtual ministerial meeting of the US-India Strategic Energy Partnership (SEP) prioritised new areas for cooperation. A number of agreements and partnerships were announced to advance the strategic and economic interests of both countries.

An official release said that two sides signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to begin cooperation on Strategic Petroleum Reserves operation and maintenance, including exchange of information and best practices.

They also discussed the possibility of India storing oil in the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve to increase their nation’s strategic oil stockpile.

The two sides launched a public-private Hydrogen Task Force to help scale up technologies to produce hydrogen from renewable energy and fossil fuel sources and to bring down the cost of deployment for enhanced energy security and resiliency.

They also signed an MOU to collaborate on India’s first-ever Solar Decathlon India in 2021, establishing a collegiate competition to prepare the next generation of building professionals to design and build high-efficiency buildings powered by renewables.

Pradhan said he has invited the US Government and US companies to join the Atmanirbhar Bharat Mission, which aims to transform India into a global manufacturing hub of the 21st century, particularly in the development of energy infrastructure.

“While India has the market, the US has oil and gas reserves, the potential for investments and related advance technologies. Our collaboration, I am confident, will be win-win for all,” he said.

“Our meeting reflects both our government’s commitment in further invigorating this partnership. It’s welcome that despite challenges of COVID-19 situation, we are committed to strengthen our energy linkages and work together on mutually-aligned priorities,” he added.

The USAID announced a partnership with Power System Operation Corporation (POSOCO) to develop India’s National Open Access Registry (NOAR).

MOU was signed between the US Agency for International Development (USAID) with Indian Society of Heating Refrigeration and Air Conditioners (ISHRAE) for professional skill development for practitioners on energy-efficient design of air conditioning systems.

MOU was signed between EESL, NTPC, and USAID for retrofit of buildings to improve indoor air quality, safety, and efficiency.

Statement of Intent was signed between the US Department of State and India’s Ministry of Power under the Flexible Resources Initiative of the US-India Clean Energy Finance Task Force to enhance the flexibility and robustness of India’s grid to support the country’s energy transition and mobilise the private investment to deliver reliable, low-cost power for the people of India.

The US Department of Commerce also launched an Energy Industry Working Group for India under the Asia EDGE initiative to facilitate private sector connections and ideas for US-India energy cooperation, including on innovative and disruptive technologies.

Under the US-India Gas Task Force, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and Petroleum Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) signed MoU on information exchange in oil and gas regulatory frameworks.

“MoU between Bloom Energy and Indian Oil on fuel cell technology, and Agility Fuel Solutions LLC and Indrapastha Gas Limited (IGL) to explore the viability, usefulness, and feasibility of advanced clean fuel systems including Type IV cylinders in India were also signed,” the release said.

It said the US.-India Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership has never been more vital in the midst of a global pandemic with an enormous human toll that is also affecting energy demand, global energy markets, and sustainable energy growth.