President Obama is currently on a tour of the Asian continent and during a press conference this morning with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced that India and the United States are forming a new renewable partnership. The two countries are going to work together to push for new energy technology at a research institute in India that each country will put $5 million into annually for the next 10 years — $100 million for green energy sounds like a pretty substantial investment to us.
“We agreed to deepen our cooperation in pursuit of clean energy technologies, including the creation of a new clean energy research center here in India, and continuing our joint research into solar, biofuels, shale gas and building efficiency,” President Obama said this morning at the press conference. Though we applaud the President and the Prime Minister’s efforts to further renewable energy use, we’ve got to point out one glaring problem with their plan. Shale gas is not a clean green energy source. Though it may burn cleaner than coal or crude oil, the effort it takes to remove it from the earth — sometimes known as fracking — puts its life cycle of carbon emissions sky high.
We’re hoping that the two countries decide to make shale gas their lowest priority – and there is evidence that they may be thinking the same. The agreement has the two nations focusing on research into “solar energy, second-generation biofuels and building efficiency” first. India is one of the world’s largest per-capita energy consumers and currently most of their energy comes from the dirtiest of sources — coal, gas and liquid fuels. Hopefully this partnership will infuse their energy market with a whole bunch of non-emitting sources and with their population of over 1 billion people, bring the world’s green energy use up and emissions down.