Indian companies aligned with US in reducing Chinese dominance of energy supply chain says US diplomat

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Washington, Feb 5 (PTI) Indian companies are fully aligned with the US in reducing Chinese dominance of the energy supply chain, including the electric vehicle segment, a top American diplomat said on Monday and lauded the fantastic new opportunities that are emerging around Small and Modular Reactor technology.

The Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources Geoffrey R Pyatt also said he is thrilled by the prospects of Indian electric three-wheelers being used in the United States for last-mile delivery in cities such as New York and Los Angeles.

Pyatt, who has just returned from India with stops in New Delhi and Hyderabad, had intensive interaction with top Indian officials and key private sector players on key issues like energy transition, reliable supply chains, energy security, and advancing commercial cooperation with private sector partners in India’s rapidly growing clean energy sector.

The top US diplomat also said that there is a shared interest between the two countries to figure out how they can move forward both on the large traditional reactors, which were foreseen as part of the US-India nuclear deal, and also the new opportunities that are emerging around Small and Modular Reactor (SMR) technology.

In a virtual interaction with reporters from India, the Middle East and the US, the top American energy diplomat said he was enormously encouraged by his conversations with Greenco, one of India's largest renewable energy companies, which is looking at significant new investments in storage and green hydrogen, including in the United States.

“It illustrates how Indian companies are fully aligned with the United States in terms of our shared interest in reducing our exposure to Chinese domination of clean technology supply chains,” he said.

Responding to a question on India US Civil Nuclear Deal, Pyatt said, “In particular, the strong interest that I found from Indian companies, including Adani, Tata, Reliance, Birla, all of whom have expressed to me their interest in using SMRs as part of their larger decarbonisation strategy. Now to move forward on that a couple of things has to have to happen.

“One is that companies in the United States, companies in India, companies elsewhere, have to figure out how to scale these SMR concepts to take the designs that have been developed and get them to the stage of regulatory approval and industrial deployment. But the other thing that will have to happen in India is a revision of the law to enable private companies to participate in the civil nuclear sector, as private utilities do here in the United States.” “This is going to take time, he noted. “But it's a natural area of convergence.” Stating that he was thrilled to visit a Start-Up called Bility Electric which manufactures EV three-wheelers, he said, “Bility is now selling in India and also in the United States, trying to fill a niche for essentially last mile connectivity for delivery services in big cities such as Los Angeles and New York.” “In these cities, an Indian style three-wheeler is much more suited than a big, big step van delivery truck and doing so with deployable, clean, electric drive.” Pyatt also visited a tech hub in Hyderabad to see what some of India's Start-Ups are doing in the clean tech space and the synergy between Indian Start-Ups and companies in the United States that are trying to tackle this energy transition. In Delhi, he attended the US India Forum along with President Biden's Chief Climate Adviser Ali Zaidi, “a reflection of just how strongly the Biden administration across the board is focused on the US's energy partnership with India.” “We have as one of the key frameworks for our cooperation with India in technology areas, the ICET framework, and our national security advisors have recently decided to add critical minerals and clean energy technology to the ICET as a new pillar,” he said. PTI LKJ NPK PY PY