India invited to become full-time IEA member


  • Recently, India invited to become full-time IEA member.

Key Details

  • India, the world’s third-largest energy consumer.

  • The proposal of IEA if accepted will require New Delhi to raise strategic oil reserves to 90 days requirement.

  • India, in March 2017, became an associate member of the Paris-based body which advises industrialised nations on energy policies.

Benefits for India to became a member of IEA

  • While the IEA is an influential global agency in energy affairs and policy making, its relevance is greatly enhanced with the involvement of non-OECD countries like India, China and Brazil, who comprise a large portion of global energy demand.
  • For India, a potential IEA membership will give it access to resources to boost its energy security and long-term planning capabilities at a time of high market volatility, geopolitical uncertainty and rapid energy transition.
  • The IEA requires members to hold crude oil or product reserves equivalent to 90 days of net imports and a joint release of oil stocks held by its members was last triggered during the Libyan crisis of 2011.
  • In the wake of a series of attacks on oil tankers and facilities in the Middle East this year, large consumers like India and China were most sensitive to supply disruptions but lacked the full preparedness of an IEA member country.
  • India’s energy demand is expected to more than double by 2040, becoming the single-largest source of global growth, according to the IEA. Energy demand in India will be around half that of China by 2040, the IEA said, up from less than 30% today.

Back to basics

International Energy Agency (IEA)

  • A Paris-based autonomous intergovernmental organisation established in the framework of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in 1974 in the wake of the 1973 oil crisis.

    India invited to become full-time IEA member
    Credit: Wikipedia
  • The IEA was initially dedicated to responding to physical disruptions in the supply of oil, as well as serving as an information source on statistics about the international oil market and other energy sectors.
  • It is best known for the publication of its annual World Energy Outlook.
  • In the decades since, its role has expanded to cover the entire global energy system, encompassing traditional energy sources such as oil, gas, and coal as well as cleaner and faster growing ones such as solar PV, wind power and biofuels.
  • Today the IEA acts as a policy adviser to its member states, as well as major emerging economies such as BrazilChinaIndiaIndonesia and South Africa to support energy security and advance the clean energy transition worldwide. 
  • All IEA member countries have signed the Paris Agreement which strives to limit warming to 1.5 °C and two thirds of IEA member governments have made commitments to emission neutrality in 2050.

Membership of IEA

  • Only OECD member states can become members of the IEA. In 2014, Estonia joined the IEA and became its 29th member.
  • IEA member countries are required to maintain total oil stock levels equivalent to at least 90 days of the previous year’s net imports.
  • In 2018, Mexico joined the IEA and became its 30th member.


  • The IEA has been criticised for systematically underestimating the role of renewable energy sources in future energy systems such as photovoltaics and their cost reductions.
  • the agency was deliberately downplaying the risk of peak oil under pressures from the USA. 
  • In the past, the IEA has been criticized by environmental groups for underplaying the role of renewable energy technologies in favor of nuclear and fossil fuels.
  • In 2009, Guy Pearse stated that the IEA has consistently underestimated the potential for renewable energy alternatives.
  • The Energy Watch Group (EWG), a coalition of scientists and politicians which analyses official energy industry predictions, claims that the IEA has had an institutional bias towards traditional energy sources and has been using “misleading data” to undermine the case for renewable energy, such as wind and solar.

Photovoltaic Power Systems Programme (PVPS)

  • The IEA Photovoltaic Power Systems Programme (PVPS) is one of the collaborative R&D Agreements established within the IEA and, since its establishment in 1993, the PVPS participants have been conducting a variety of joint projects in the application of photovoltaic conversion of solar energy into electricity.
  • IEA-PVPS members:
    • As of 2015, there are 28 members, including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, United States, as well as EPIA, European Union, International Copper Association, SEIA and SEPA.

Energy Conservation through Energy Storage (ECES) Programme

  • The IEA’s Energy Conservation through Energy Storage (ECES) Programme has completed 20 developmental annexes covering seasonal thermal energy storage as sensible heat (or cold), as well as storage of thermal energy (sensible, latent, thermochemical) and electrical energy.

Heat Pumping Technologies

  • The Technology Collaboration Programme on Heat Pumping Technologies by IEA (HPT TCP) was founded in 1978. It is one of the IEA Technology Collaboration Programmes (TCP).

Carbon capture

  • IEA promotes reduction of CO2 emissions for both conventional fossil-fuel carbon capture and storage (CCS) and for bioenergy with CCS (BECCS) by working with member and partner nations on development of cost effective and efficient international and national energy policies including CCS, trading mechanisms and low-carbon technologies.

Clean Energy Ministerial Hydrogen Initiative (CEM H2I)

  • The Clean Energy Ministerial Hydrogen Initiative (CEM H2I) has currently the following participating governments: Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Costa Rica, European Commission, Finland, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, United Kingdom and United States.
  • The International Energy Agency (IEA) was selected to co‑ordinate this initiative.
  • The CEM H2I was launched in CEM10 (May 2019, Vancouver).
  • It is a voluntary multi-government initiative, developed according to the CEM framework document, which aims to advance policies, programs and projects that accelerate the commercialization and deployment of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies across all aspects of the economy.
  • It operates under the auspices of the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM), involving non-binding arrangements among participating national government ministries.
  • It will aim to address barriers and identify opportunities for hydrogen in the global transformation to a clean, affordable and reliable energy sector looking at the global supply chains of this new energy vector.

International Smart Grid Action Network

  • ISGAN, the International Smart Grid Action Network, is a Technology Collaboration Programme (TCP) of the International Energy Agency (IEA).
  • The co-operative programme was formally established in 2011 and is also an initiative of the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM).
  • ISGAN is an IEA Technology Collaboration Programme, and as such seeks to support governments and industry with insight and recommendations to high-level decision-makers.
  • In addition, ISGAN closely co-operates with Mission Innovation, a global initiative that promotes the acceleration of the clean energy transition.
  • ISGAN is an international platform for the development and exchange of knowledge and expertise on smarter, cleaner, and more flexible and resilient electricity grids (“Smart Grids”). ISGAN provides an important channel for the communication of experience, trends, lessons learned, and visions in support of global, national and regional clean energy objectives as well as new flexible and resilient solutions for Smart Grids.

Source: TH & Wikipedia

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