A Bird’s Eye View on the Outcome of US Elections on India’s Energy Sector
As US heads towards Presidential Elections, the energy policy makers in India are keeping a close watch on the results which would decide its impact on the India-US ties. While Joe Biden promises strong push towards renewable energy sources, Trump’s victory may strengthen India’s oil, infra and defense sector. As soon as incumbent Donald Trump pulled US out of the Paris climate change agreement, which aims at mitigating the impact of greenhouse gas emissions on the global temperature rise, Biden launched a campaign promising the US to achieve the target of net zero emissions by 2050 and investing USD 1.7 trillion in the next ten years towards actualizing the same. Biden’s proposal sounds well when India has already shifted to fifth gear towards increasing its capacity of clean energy projects. Clean energy projects comprise nearly a fifth of India’s power generation capacity. By March 2022, India is aiming to produce 100 GW energy from its ongoing solar projects and 60 GW from wind power plants. Coming to the oil and gas sector, India has become the fourth largest export destination for the US crude and the fifth-largest consumer of US LNG. India has been already revisiting its crude sourcing strategy amid growing global uncertainties post the COVID-19 outbreak, aiming to protect its consumers from strong fluctuations in the international oil futures. The India-US hydrocarbon trade was valued at USD 9.2 billion in FY20. The two countries have also mutually set up a gas task force (GTF) for discussions such as Natural Gas pricing, markets and regulation, investments on gas infrastructure and demand growth. Hydrogen has become a key area of interest for both the parties, with a public-private Hydrogen Task Force being formed towards the same to scale up technologies to produce Hydrogen from renewable energy and fossil fuel sources. As per ChemAnalyst, "whatever the outcome, the results would pave the way for India to increase its refining capacity from 250 mtpa to 400 mtpa by 2025 and strengthen its green energy needs to establish the longest-running energy partnership between the two democracies."