07/09/2012 Leave a comment
‘U.S. Presses India on Iran Oil Buys’ WSJ, by Amol Shjarma 5/9/2012 reports that the U.S. State Department is pressuring India to further reduce imports of oil from Iran to help persuade it to abandon its nuclear ambitions.
The State Department should promote sales of U.S. made batteries, solar and wind technology to provide India with alternatives to Middle East oil. US made batteries for plug-in hybrids are dropping in cost 18% per year. Prices for solar panels at a recent auction in India are dropping. Solar electricity is expected to be cheaper than fossil fuel based electricity within 3 years.
The $10.3bn investment in solar and other clean energy investment in India in 2011, a 50% increase over the previous year shows a strengthening drive toward the development of truly cheap fuel-free energy, powering industry as well as transportation.
India has a target of $159bn in sales of Indian made vehicles by 2016, but investments have slowed down. The Indian government cut excise duty on conversion kits for vehicles to switch from fuel to hybrid and has proposed customs duty reduction on batteries.
State Department encouragement of battery sales to the Indian market could help India justify reductions in purchases of Iranian oil.