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Wilson Center: India's Growing Dependence on Energy From Abroad

Panelists: Tanvi Madan, Juli MacDonald, Mikkal E. Herberg, and Ron Somers
September 26, 2008


India boasts one of the world’s fastest growing economies. Along with this growth, comes a rapidly increasing demand for energy. India is currently the world’s fifth largest energy consumer, and is expected to vault to third place by 2030—behind only the United States and China. But limited energy reserves at home have forced India to look abroad to satisfy much of this voracious demand for oil, natural gas, and coal. In fact, India’s dependence on foreign oil is projected to reach more than 90 percent by 2030, according to projections from the U.S. Department of Energy.

Meanwhile, a recent report by India’s Planning Commission projects that India must at least triple its primary energy supply and quintuple its electricity generation to maintain the 8 percent annual GDP rate needed to meet the New Delhi government’s goals of poverty eradication and human development. In an effort to assess India’s energy security policy, the Asia Program hosted a panel discussion on July 22, with assistance from the Global Energy Initiative.

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