Immense potential ahead for India-US energy collaboration: Hardeep Singh Puri

There is immense potential for India-US collaboration in the energy sector in areas like biofuels, green hydrogen, petchem & upstream, Hardeep Singh Puri said
Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Hardeep Singh Puri (centre) in Houston, US, on October 11.
Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Hardeep Singh Puri (centre) in Houston, US, on October 11.

Houston: There is immense potential for India-US collaboration in areas of biofuels, green hydrogen, petrochemicals and upstream sectors, Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Monday. The Minister of Petroleum and Natural gas and Urban Development said India and the US have decided on concrete areas of cooperation. "India is more conscious of going for green energy than any other country in the world. Special emphasis is being given on green hydrogen, biofuel blending and exploration and production of biofuel from alternative sources," Puri told a packed, invited-only guests at the reception, organised by the Consul General of India in Houston, Aseem Mahajan, at his residence.

Puri said, "In pursuance of the strategic green energy partnership signed between the US President and the Indian Prime Minister in 2021, we signed four MOUs and these are in concrete areas, where Indian companies and US companies will collaborate."

He launched the Special CBM (popularly known as Coal Seam Gas) Bid Round – 2022 for International Competitive Bidding on Monday at Houston.

Simultaneously, Puri launched the Offshore Bid Round offering 26 blocks — 18 carved out by DGH and eight as a result of expression of interests (EoI) from potential investors — covering an area of approximately 2.3 lakh Sq. Km.

Out of 26 blocks, three blocks based on EoIs are onshore covering an area of only 3,666 sq km.

Green corridor between India & US

Puri asserted that India would eventually become a leader in the green hydrogen space. The target of 20 per cent of ethanol blending has been brought forward from 2030 to 2025.

Sharing transformative developments regarding the energy sector, he said, "We have not allowed, both the countries, in spite of what has happened to the global energy markets, to deviate even slightly, from our objective of transitioning to green energy."

"We have decided on concrete areas of cooperation, where we have decided to establish a green energy corridor between the United States and India, where the governments only provide the framework, but it is the private sector and our companies, which have to make it work," he said.

India, which is the third largest energy consumer in the world, is likely to have one of the fastest growing energy demands in coming years.

"Last week in Washington DC, I had my first exchange with Secretary of Energy, Jennifer Granholm, I was very impressed not only with the commitment of the United States on the trajectory of green energy, but what could be doable in terms of the two countries," he said.

'See India-US energy collaboration only going up'

Puri further noted that "When I go back to 1981, while I was Joint Secretary on the desk, I don't think anyone could have established that we'd be doing USD 160 billion of bilateral trade, out of which USD 20 billion is energy alone and I see that only going up. Proving when you collaborate, you open up doors, which you hitherto, didn't even imagine."

"We are planning to scale, and much of the new areas are either too untried, if you produce green hydrogen, it stands to reason that you would want to produce it at a place using technologies and best practices, where it can be consumed," he said.

Puri arrived in Houston on Monday morning and interacted at length with top-ranking officials of the US energy industry at an executive round table conference.

The conference was organised by US India strategic partnership forum, (USISPF), an advocacy group committed to creating the most powerful strategic partnership between the US and India.

At the roundtable with energy companies, Puri was accompanied by Mukesh Aghi, President and CEO USISPF, Embassy of India's Deputy Chief of Mission, Ambassador Sripriya Ranganathan, Consulate General of India in Houston, Aseem Mahajan amongst others.

"Now, I find that the kind of plans that we have in India for gas pipeline for moving the gas from 6 per cent to 15 per cent, the very ambitious program for compressed biogas stations, we are looking for 5,000 such plants, all that presents not only an opportunity for India, but I think for India, and US collaboration to demonstrate to the rest of the world what two democratic large democracies collaborating with each other can do in the area of transitioning to green energy," Puri said.

(With PTI inputs)

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