US-India Strategic Clean Energy Partnership (SCEP) | 13 Sep 2021

Why in News

Recently, the revamped US-India Strategic Clean Energy Partnership SCEP was launched during the ministerial meeting of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry with the US Ministry of Energy.

  • The SCEP was launched in accordance with the US - India Climate and Clean Energy Agenda 2030 Partnership announced by both countries at the Leaders’ Summit on Climate held earlier this year (2021).

Key Points

  • US-India Agenda 2030 Partnership:
    • The aim is to create stronger bilateral cooperation on actions in the current decade to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.
    • The Partnership will proceed along two main tracks: the Strategic Clean Energy Partnership and the Climate Action and Finance Mobilization Dialogue.
    • India elevated the India-US energy dialogue to a strategic energy partnership in 2018.
  • Revamped Strategic Clean Energy Partnership (SCEP):
    • Addition of a fifth Pillar on Emerging Fuels (cleaner energy fuels).
    • With this, the SCEP inter-governmental engagement now spreads across five pillars of cooperation - Power and Energy Efficiency, Responsible Oil and Gas, Renewable Energy, Sustainable Growth and Emerging Fuels.
    • Support India in achieving its goal of installing 450GW of renewable energy capacity by 2030.
    • A new India-U.S. Task Force on Biofuels was also announced.
  • Reviewed India-US Civil Nuclear Energy Cooperation:
    • The Indo-US nuclear cooperation agreement was signed in 2008.
    • A major aspect of the Deal was that the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) gave a special waiver to India that enabled it to sign cooperation agreements with a dozen countries.
  • Transformation of the Gas Task Force:
    • It will be the India-US Low Emissions Gas Task Force.
    • It will focus on addressing India’s natural gas policy, technology, and regulatory barriers by promoting efficient and market-driven solutions aimed at meeting India’s growing energy demand, and greenhouse gas emission reduction targets.
  • Institutionalism of India Energy Modeling Forum:
    • Six Task Forces were constituted for carrying out research and modelling in different areas.
    • There will be deliberations on Energy Data Management, Low Carbon Technologies and Just Transition in the Coal Sector.
  • Expanded the Scope of (PACE)-R Initiative:
    • Agreed to include smart grid and grid storage as part of the second phase of the Partnership to Advance Clean Energy (PACE)-R initiative anchored on the Indian side by the Department of Science & Technology.
  • Recent Updates on US-India Relations:
    • Malabar Exercise: The Navies of the Quad (Quadrilateral Framework) Nations (India, the United States, Japan, and Australia) participated in the 25th edition of the exercise.
    • India-US Agreement on ALUAV: India and the US have signed a Project Agreement (PA) to jointly develop an Air-launched Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (ALUAV) or drones that can be launched from an aircraft.
    • Issues in Free Trade Agreement: The US administration has indicated that it is no longer interested in securing a bilateral Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with India.
    • NISAR: NASA and ISRO are collaborating on developing an SUV-sized satellite called NISAR, which will detect movements of the planet’s surface as small as 0.4 inches over areas about half the size of a tennis court.

Source: TH