The conference, co-sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, USAID, India's Ministry of Power, and India's Confederation of Indian Industry, is just one sign that exchanges with India on energy use and carbon emissions are poised to grow. India's Bureau of Energy Efficiency is also supporting the conference, as is the U.S. Department of Commerce, which is simultaneously leading an energy efficiency trade mission to India this week.
Separately, Energy Secretary Steve Chu was in India last week meeting with Indian leaders to discuss opportunities for partnerships on clean energy technologies. "Tackling climate change and moving toward a clean energy economy requires action both at home and abroad, and I am encouraged by the progress we are seeing on both fronts," he said in a statement from India.
As in China, India's electricity supply is dominated by coal, which provides nearly 70 percent of the total. Another 35,000 MW of new coal-fired power plants are planned to come online by 2012, representing 250 million tons of potential new carbon dioxide emissions, or about 20 percent of the country's total emissions in 2006. Much of the rising demand for energy comes from the emerging middle class, as more and more people purchase TVs, refrigerators, air conditioners and other appliances; vehicle ownership is also forecast to rise rapidly.
India must import oil and natural gas to meet its energy requirements. Still, the country experiences frequent shortages; daily power outages are a fact of life, even in the largest cities. The gap is often filled with small, inefficient diesel generators, which are highly polluting. Making matters worse is what the industry terms "energy loss"essentially thieves who siphon electricity from the grid without paying. Loss rates are as high as 50 percent in rural locations.
Berkeley Lab has started working with Indian companies
|Contact: Julie Chao|
DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory