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India’s Pursuit of Energy Security

India’s Pursuit of Energy Security
Domestic Measures, Foreign Policy and Geopolitics

First Edition
  • Ashok Sharma - Visiting Fellow, University of New South Wales (UNSW Canberra), Australian Defence Force Academy

August 2019 | 440 pages | SAGE India

This book is a comprehensive examination of the dynamics of India’s energy security policy in the domestic and international context. Over the past decade and a half, energy security has been a constant driver of India’s foreign policy. Successive Indian governments have emphasized it as a major concern, next only to food security.

The long-term satisfaction of India’s energy security needs calls for a fresh and multi-pronged approach. This is imperative in the light of the recent dynamics of India’s foreign policy and the challenges that India is facing in its quest for energy security, mainly in the context of diversification of sources abroad and shift to alternative sources in a carbon-controlled environment. This is further intensified in the context of the complex and competitive strategic rivalry between India and China in the Indo-Pacific region, as India looks outward and expands its outreach to meet its pressing energy security challenges. The book presents an in-depth analysis of all such domestic and foreign policy challenges and measures to meet India’s fast-growing energy demand in a competitive geopolitical environment.

Foreword by V.K. Singh
Energy Security as a Concept: Thematic Issues in India’s Energy Security in Domestic and International Settings
India’s Energy Reserves and Energy Mix: Addressing the Demand in a Carbon Controlled Environment
India’s Domestic Measures to Energy Security: Exploration and Production, Privatization and Energy Efficiency
Energy Security as a Foreign Policy Priority: India’s Diversification of Energy Acquisition Sources and Exploration Abroad
India’s Quest for Atomic Energy: Diplomacy and Nuclear Agreements
India’s Quest for Energy Security Abroad: India-China Energy Geopolitics and Great Game

After an edifying and well-received book, Indian Lobbying and its Influence in US Decision Making, Dr Ashok Sharma turns his focus on an increasingly critical sector of India’s domestic and foreign policy—energy security—key to its economic ambitions. The country faces several challenges—environmental, equity-based, economic, technological and geopolitical—to meet its energy deficit. They have powerful implications for India’s energy policy. Dr Sharma’s comprehensive study concludes that the choices the country has made balance the demands of these challenges both effectively and strategically. This timely and scholarly book dealing with the complex issue of energy security is highly recommended for academics, policymakers and anyone seriously interested in India’s quest for energy security. 

Ambassador Lalit Mansingh,
Former Foreign Secretary of India and Ambassador to the United States

This remarkable book by Ashok Sharma is, to the best of my knowledge, the first to examine key issues related to India’s energy security in a comprehensive manner. Several factors combine to make energy security one of the key challenges facing not just India but the world economy as well. While high GDP growth rates in India are necessary to raise living standards and reduce poverty, such growth rates will also sharply raise energy demand. The source and composition of such energy are also crucial given the twin challenges of climate change as well as the paucity of domestic sources of energy, the latter necessitating India’s deep involvement in energy diplomacy to face challenges from China. Sharma’s book is an erudite exposition of all these key issues. It will be invaluable to policymakers and students. I recommend it strongly. 

Professor Raghbendra Jha,
Executive Director, Australia South Asia Research Centre, Arndt-Corden Department of Economics, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University

After his first seminal book Indian Lobbying and Its Influence on US Decision Making, Dr Sharma takes a thorough study of India’s energy security. Dr Sharma observes that much of the global energy demand will be due to growth from India and China. India, the world’s third largest energy consumer, will continue to supersede the growth rate of all major economies. This will increase its oil and gas import dependency. India is also turning to renewables and nuclear sources, signalling a shift to a more environment-friendly energy policy. 

Dr Sharma argues that India’s energy policy is in need of a multifaceted approach. The domestic measures and reserves are not sufficient. The book is a thorough and meticulous account of India’s attempt to diversify its oil and gas imports dependency on the Middle East, and how such a pursuit places India in direct competition with China which is further intensified by a complex great power politics in the Indo-Pacific region. A must-read for both academic and policy professionals and anyone interested in the evolution of India’s quest for energy security and the consequent geopolitical ramifications.

Emeritus Professor Dov Bing,
Department of Political Science and Public Policy, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand

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