International Energy Agency (IEA)

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    • Recently, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has invited India to become its full-time member.

    About

    • The proposal if accepted will require India to raise strategic oil reserves to 90 days requirement to which the government has immediate access (even if it does not own them directly) and could be used to address disruptions to the global oil supply.
    • Also, a member of IEA has to show a demand restraint programme to reduce national oil consumption by up to 10%.
    • India has not confirmed yet if the full-time membership proposal was acceptable to the government or not.

    Present Scenario in India

    • India is the world’s third-largest energy consumer.
    • India’s current strategic oil reserves equal 9.5 days of its requirement.
    • India has the fastest-growing energy market in the world.

    About International Energy Agency (IEA)

    • Origin: In 1974 to ensure the security of oil supplies.
    • Objectives: The IEA was established as the main international forum for energy cooperation on a variety of issues such as security of supply, long-term policy, information transparency, energy efficiency, sustainability, research and development, technology collaboration and international energy relations.
    • Working: 
      • The IEA is an autonomous intergovernmental organisation within the OECD framework.
      • The IEA works with governments and industry to shape a secure and sustainable energy future for all.
    • Areas of Work:
      • Promoting energy efficiency
      • Energy security
      • Programmes and partnerships
      • International collaborations
      • Promoting digital demand-driven electricity networks
      • Data and statistics
      • Training
      • Technology collaboration
      • Global engagement
      • Industry engagement
    • Members: 
      • It is made up of 30 member countries, 8 association countries, and 3 accession countries. 
      • A candidate country to the IEA must be a member country of the OECD.
      • IEA member countries are required to maintain total oil stock levels equivalent to at least 90 days of the previous year’s net imports. 
      • India became an Associate Member of IEA in 2017.
    • Important Reports:
      • World Energy Outlook
      • Energy Technology Perspectives
      • World Energy Balances
      • World Energy Statistics
      • Net Zero by 2050

    Significance of Becoming Full Member

    • India is becoming increasingly influential in global energy trends.
    • For India, it will provide a platform to position itself as a leader on the world energy and environment stage.
    • Given that over 75 per cent of the world’s energy consumption comes under the IEA umbrella, the association with the IEA will substantially increase India’s relevance in global energy governance.
    • The IEA can encourage financial institutions to support India’s energy, particularly, its solar energy programme.

    Challenges

    • Huge Energy Demand: The success of India as a world energy leader will depend largely on adapting the technologies needed to meet its energy demand under specific conditions and economic realities.
    • Coal Shortage in India: As the economy recovers from pandemic blows, a sharp surge in energy demand has triggered an unprecedented fuel shortage at the country’s coal-fired stations.
    • Security Challenges: Growing energy security challenges that result from the increasing importance of electricity include the variability of supply from some renewables and cybersecurity risks. 
    • Price Volatility: The rising dependence on critical minerals required for key clean energy technologies and infrastructure brings risks of price volatility and supply disruptions that could hinder the clean energy transition.

    Way Ahead

    • The government needs to quickly increase and reprioritise their spending on research and development of clean energy technologies.
    • Clean energy technologies must be at the core of energy and climate policy. 
    • Progress in the areas of advanced batteries, electrolysis for hydrogen, and direct air capture and storage can be very impactful.

     

    Source: TH