India and the US have a mighty energy collaboration. In June 2017, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump confirmed the strategic significance of bilateral energy cooperation. This decision is known through the announcement of a new US–India Strategic Energy Partnership (SEP). The first ministerial meeting was held in April 2018.
The India–US Strategic Energy Partnership has majorly four pillars: Oil and Gas, Power and Energy Efficiency, Renewable and Sustainable Growth. The Sustainable Growth pillar is being co-chaired by NITI Aayog and USAID.
Key achievements and future action plan of the Sustainable Growth pillar were enlighted amid the ministerial dialogue of the SEP held on 17 July 2020. It comes under the co-chairmanship of Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette. Dr Rakesh Sarwal, Additional Secretary, NITI Aayog, and India Co-Chair of the Sustainable Growth pillar stated that this pillar binding Indian and American researchers and decision-makers to conjoin in three focal areas: energy data management; energy modeling; and promotion of low-carbon technologies.
Energy data management: In 2015, An India Energy Dashboard was launched , has been deformed with the provisioning of data input online and through API integration. To enhance the exercise, NITI Aayog allocated eight sub-groups on energy demand and supply sectors. India and US agencies will support to build a robust energy dashboard.
Energy modelling: Two exercises took over on energy-water nexus and decarburization of transportation sector have enlighted the key issues and provided policy suggestions. NITI Aayog and USAID jointly led off India Energy Modeling Forum on 2 July 2020. The forum will connect US and Indian researchers, knowledge partners, think tanks, both national and international, and government agencies and departments for modeling and long-term energy planning exercise.
Low carbon technologies: Both of them agreed to connect through concerned Government, related agencies, and private players for the promotion of low carbon technologies in India.
Remarking on the meeting of the Sustainable Growth pillar, Javier Piedra, Deputy Assistant Administrator, Asia Bureau, United States Agency for International Development, and US co-chair of the pillar, said both sides will continue to energize the Energy Data Management system to improve energy data availability, accessibility, and consistency with more intensive incorporation with US agencies. The Sustainable Growth pillar will aid the India Energy Modeling Forum by facilitating collaborative engagement with the Modeling Forum at Stanford University.
It is a challenging operation for India as well as US. However, challenges always give opportunities to devise new ways and find innovative solutions. Both sides will adapt and continue to focus on sharing best practices and new solutions under the sustainable growth pillar for the benefit of India and the US.