IEA wants India, China to be active members of global energy system

India is moving to the centre stage of international energy system but needs investments to move forward, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Monday, welcoming the country as a "special guest" to the grouping's meet next month.

Southeast Asian countries are becoming larger energy consumers and will be increasingly confronted by issues similar to those faced by IEA members, International Energy Agency (IEA) executive director Fatih Birol said, adding that the organisation would like to see India and China join the grouping during its meet in Paris on 17-18 November.

"We are hoping to see both Chinese and Indian ministers in that meeting as our special guests, which will hopefully strengthen the ties we have with those countries," he said in his keynote opening address at Singapore International Energy Week on Monday.

India and China are associate partner countries of IEA and are "very close" to the grouping, he said.

Birol applauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi's initiatives on energy and 'Make in India,' but acknowledged the challenges in raising investments.

"India is moving to the centre stage of global energy system in terms of electricity, coal, renewables and oil," he said.

"What India needs is three things in order to realise what Modi has in mind - investment, investment and investment," he told reporters after a speech at the Singapore International Energy Week, which opened today.

He said India would need these "three things" for power sector - gas, coal and private sector investment that was crucial to support projects.

The IEA will release a special report on Indian energy sector in New Delhi on November 27.

Birol said the report on India was part of IEA's annual country study for this year. The report covers India's current and future energy scenarios.

"We have looked at India very closely this year," he said.

Touching on oil subsidies cuts, he said, "I would commend three countries, mainly India, Indonesia and Malaysia. To cut subsidies is not an easy business."

But Birol said the timing was excellent to cut subsidies.

"We have now low oil prices. Therefore, it gives a very good opportunity to cut the subsidy gradually," he said.

With global oil subsidies averaging $500 billion a year, four times those for the development of renewables, Birol urged governments to lend strong support in setting up renewable energies.