Context: NITI Aayog announced the governing structure of the India Energy Modelling Forum (IEMF).

About India Energy Modelling Forum (IEMF)

  • It is jointly launched by NITI Aayog and United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
  • It is part of the Sustainable Growth pillar of the US–India Strategic Energy Partnership (SEP).
  • Objective: IEMF aims to engage Indian researchers, knowledge partners, think tanks and national and international government agencies and departments for modelling and long-term energy planning.
  • Governing structure
    • It will consist of an inter-ministerial and a steering committee.
      • The inter-ministerial committee will be convened by NITI Aayog and headed by its CEO, and comprise senior officials from the various ministries.
      • This committee will review the studies/modelling activities and provide directions and new areas of research.
    • The steering committee will comprise representatives of the:
      • Government, Industry Associations, Academia and Policy Research organizations, think tanks and funding agencies.
      • This committee will shortlist policy issues to be taken up for study and might form various task forces depending on the specific studies/modelling exercises to be carried out. 
      • Prayas Group, Pune, will be the first convener of the steering committee.

Significance for India-US relations: 

  • Collaboration on energy: The Sustainable Growth pillar brings together Indian and US researchers and decision-makers to collaborate in three focal areas: 
    • Energy data management;
    • Energy modelling, and 
    • Promotion of low carbon technologies. 
  • Through collaborations with global energy modelling forums, such as Stanford Energy Modelling Forum and Energy Modelling Platform for Europe, IEMF hopes to share and learn from best practices.

US–India Strategic Energy Partnership (SEP)

  • It was established in April 2018.
  • It recognizes the strategic importance of energy to the U.S.-India bilateral relationship. 
  • The SEP organizes inter-agency engagement on both sides across four primary pillars of cooperation: 
    • Power and Energy Efficiency; 
    • Oil and Gas; 
    • Renewable Energy; and 
    • Sustainable Growth. 
  • Through these pillars, the United States and India are working to 
    • Strengthen and modernize the power grid and distribution utilities for clean, affordable, and reliable energy access; 
    • Improve efficiency, flexibility, and environmental performance in the power sector; 
    • Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth through long-term energy development; 
    • Enhance energy security through oil and gas trade, and 
    • Infrastructure investment; 
  • The SEP also supports USG efforts under the AsiaEDGE initiative, which establishes India as a strong energy partner in the Indo-Pacific region.
  • It supports research on transformational power generation based on supercritical CO2 (sCO2) power cycles and advanced coal technologies for power generation and hydrogen production, including carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS). 
  • The two countries are also leading joint research and development (R&D) through the U.S.-India Partnership to Advance Clean Energy-Research (PACE-R) on smart grids and energy storage to increase resilience and reliability of the electric grid.

Source: PIB

Image source: economic times