Domestic Constraints to India’s Energy Security

Part of the India Studies in Business and Economics book series (ISBE)


India’s energy security ‘problem’ has traditionally been framed as one of absolute scarcity. The gap between the large and growing need for energy on the one hand and dwindling domestic energy resources on the other is often used to illustrate ever increasing scarcity. This narrative of scarcity assigns blame for India’s energy insecurity primarily on nature. The basic premise of this narrative is that geology and geography that denied India key energy resources such as oil and gas make India energy insecure. Many of India’s energy policy documents reflect this line of thought. The Integrated Energy Policy report observes that ‘India’s reserves of oil, gas and uranium are meagre’ and that ‘even though coal resources are relatively abundant it is regionally concentrated, it is of low calorific value and high ash content and the amount of coal that could be extracted with available technology is limited’. It further adds that ‘even though hydro power potential is significant, it is small compared to India’s energy needs and that its contribution to India’s basket is likely to remain small’. The section on energy in India’s 12th five year plan (2012–2017) begins with the statement that ‘India is the fourth largest consumer of energy after the USA, China and Russia but it is not well endowed with abundant energy resources’.


Planning Commission Energy Security Resource Endowment International Energy Agency Domestic Coal 
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© Springer India 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Energy ProgrammeObserver Research FoundationNew DelhiIndia

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