India seeks US investments in power sector

Washington, July 4 (IANS) India's Minister of State for Power Jyotiraditya Scindia sees great potential for US investments and co-operation in the Indian power sector

Potential areas of such co-operation inlude transmission technologies, development of large scale hydro power, supercritical technology development for efficient energy production, smart grids and energy efficiency improvement programmes, he said.

Scindia, who was here on a short visit at the invitation of the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank, said a $25 billion financial re-structuring plan (FRP) aimed at improving the viability of the state power utilities.

Delivering a talk on "Indian Energy Security in the context of the Power Sector," he said thanks to various energy efficiency measures there had been a savings equivalent of 11,000 MW of avoided capacity in the past 5 years. This achievement was set to be surpassed with the target of 12GW for the next 5 years, he said.

Addressing the issues of growth of the Indian power sector, Scindia said it was especially significant in the Indian context, since apart from meeting India's energy requirement, it also drives capital investment and resultant growth.

Earlier, at a power roundtable organised by the US India Business Council at the Harvard Club New York Monday, Scindia assured that an institutional framework has been put in place to attract potential investors in the power sector.

Asked about the visit, State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters Wednesday that it "just further confirms the importance of our strategic relationship with India, all the close contact."

Energy and access to energy was a big topic of discussion during Secretary of State John Kerry's visit to India, she said.

Psaki said she was not aware of any update on the landmark India-US civil nuclear deal, which has been in limbo due to differences over India's nuclear liability law.

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