India is close to signing a double-barreled mega deal with Russia to help shore up its struggling domestic energy supply. One deal will see Moscow helping New Delhi with nuclear energy technology, and the other will give India a stake in a liquified natural gas (LNG) project in Russia’s Yamal peninsula. The Wall Street Journal reports:
The [LNG] project is one of several energy assets India is looking to buy a stake in as part of the South Asian nation’s efforts to improve its energy security. India meets nearly three-fourth of its energy requirements through imports as local fuel shortages, aggravated by a decline in local gas output and less-than-estimated coal production, have crippled the energy sector. […][A nuclear plant in southern India] has used Russian and Indian technology for its two power-generation reactors, the first of which is expected to start production later this month. India is looking to use Russian technology for two more units at the same facility.
As the FT reports, India is also getting in to the renewable energy game, taking advantage of dirt-cheap solar panels. A global web of government subsidies have led to a glut of cheap (and poor quality) Chinese solar panels. New Delhi is hoping to capitalize on this wildly distorted market. Distributed solar, in which the electricity generated by panels is consumed at the source, makes sense in a country with such an under-built energy grid. In India’s sunny northwest, solar farms can produce electricity for more than 80 percent of the year. (Though remember: none of this is a sign of a healthy global industry. India is just one of the few winners in the global solar subsidy fiasco).India is desperate to bolster and diversify its energy mix. Last summer’s blackouts revealed the dire state of the country’s infrastructure. Since then, it has looked to its rivers, to its shale reserves, to the sun, and to foreign partners like Russia and Mozambique for solutions. Let’s hope this all-of-the-above approach bears fruit.[Power lines image courtesy of Shutterstock]