Last week, India and the United States launched the realigned Strategic Clean Energy Partnership (SCEP), which is said to be in accordance with US -India Climate and Clean Energy Agenda 2030 Partnership. In turn, the partnership was announced in April 2020, at the Leaders Summit on Climate by President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Overseeing the launch of the Climate Action and Finance Mobilisation Dialogue between the two nations will be the US President’s Special Envoy and former senator John Kerry during the course of his brief visit to India this week.
The US and India have decided to shift the focus of their strategic partnership toward clean energy, as opposed to Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and shale exploration, which was the focus under the Trump administration.
Today, both countries are shifting gears and directing their attention to such sectors as hydrogen and biofuels. Furthermore, the partnership entails the use of advanced US technologies and the vast energy market in India that is growing at a rapid pace.
This adjustment in the SCEP between India and the US is part of the newly added fifth technical pillar of the partnership – Emerging Fuels. And in addition to advancing alternative fuels, this pillar also includes the use of carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) technology, as well as operations of strategic reserves.
Significant real-world steps have already been taken in accordance with the SCEP adjustments, such as the launch of the US-India Hydrogen Task Force in June 2021. Its purpose is to assess innovative policy options, study technology status and offer recommendations.
A similar Task Force was also announced on Biofuels last week with an emphasis on system-friendly practices and renewable energy projects in India.
And another no less noteworthy change in the energy partnership between the two countries has to do with the US-India Gas Task Force, which has now been renamed to US-India Low Emission Gas Task Force. Its focus, in turn, will be on meeting the ever increasing energy demand in India by addressing natural gas policy and technology with carbon reduction targets in mind.