Geoffrey R Pyatt India visit: It is almost a consensus in the world that India is an important player in international affairs. The United States of America too looks it that way. Now, it is leaving no stone unturned to attract India towards itself and subsequently deviate it from Russia. It has tried to reduce India’s military dependency on Russia by offering military equipment and eventually the transfer of technology. It indulged in bilateral and multilateral alliances like Biofuel alliance among others to knit a complete web of interdependence between India. Although, the relations of India and Russia are stiff, USA is looking to change its shape through reducing India’s dependence on fossil fuels.
Geoffrey R Pyatt announced his visit to India
The Geological Survey of India found lithium reserves of 5.9 million tonnes in Jammu & Kashmir’s Raesi region. Just a day before the discovery, USA’s Secretary of State for Energy Resources, Geoffrey R Pyatt announced his visit to India. He visited India from 13 to 17 February. During his visit he was interviewed by PTI. According to the reports, he described India as an important player in the global energy security after the disruptions in supplies of fossil fuels.
He emphasised to give a fresh look to civil nuclear partnership between India and USA. It has been 14 years since both countries entered the India-USA civil nuclear agreement, 2008. This remained the prominent theme of his negotiations in India.
Non-fossil fuel goals of India
India has set a goal of energy transition to 500 GW from non-fossil fuel till 2030. Pyatt iterated support for the goal. It is interesting to note that India has increased fuel import from Russia on a low price. The US wants India to plunge the import. Since India has justified its purchase, USA is looking to reduce it by cooperating in India’s non-fossil energy transition.
He said, “The US-India energy and climate agenda is one of the most important that we have anywhere in the world.”
But there are challenges to it. The ‘nuclear renaissance’ faced a serious setback after the accident at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant in 2011. The prime concern was differences between the two sides over liability rules relating to seeking damages from suppliers in the event of an accident.
Also Read: How lithium discovery is going to change India’s geopolitical equations
Where the real interest of USA lies
Pyatt said the US is keen on forging strong cooperation with India in areas of green hydrogen energy and hydrogen fuel cell. He assured to take green energy under the Quad framework.
It is important to note here that India’s expedition campaign of lithium is domestic as well as global. And, India will certainly reduce its dependency on China in near future. After the boost in EVs, fossil fuel dependency will automatically go down. So possibly, USA has a twofold interest when it comes to its relation with India on non-fossil energy transition. The first one being, the alienation of Russia from India and the other is its greed for lithium.
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