U.S. talks nuclear power with India: official

09:07, March 31, 2010      

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U.S. energy officials met with their Indian counterparts and discussed nuclear energy, clean power, energy efficiency and natural gas, the U.S. deputy energy secretary Daniel Poneman told media in the Mexican resort city Cancun on Tuesday.

"We had a very good conversation with India," said Poneman, who is leading a delegation of U.S. energy officials at the 12th International Energy Forum, which runs Tuesday and Wednesday here.

"During a visit to Washington by India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, he signed a memorandum of understanding on clean energy. Had an opportunity to review that and we also had a chance to discuss areas of the program related to nuclear power," he said.

India has more than 4,000 megawatts of installed nuclear power capacity out of a total of 14,700 megawatts in installed generating capacity, according to a report published by the Indian Power Ministry.

The U.S. and India also discussed energy efficiency and natural gas, Poneman said.

Poneman said that market forces should determine oil prices and refused to give an ideal price for his country, after reporters asked Poneman several times for his opinion on oil prices.

"The laws of supply and demand should set prices, but they work best when you have open transparent markets, " he said.

Saudi officials on Monday said that a range between 70 dollars and 80 dollars per barrel was "perfect" for both producers and consumers. The same day, the IEF launched the Joint Oil Data Initiative, a statistics database on oil production and consumption with regular updates from around 100 nations.

He also said that the U.S. would continue to invest a fund of 37.6 billion dollars in wind, solar and biomass, among other alternatives.

"We have invested in a number of technologies to make sure that low carbon technologies are increasingly available," Poneman said. "As soon we get a price of carbon via market mechanisms these investments will be phased out."

A total of 64 nations will be represented by official delegations, most of whom will be lead by energy or oil ministers. There will also be 16 representatives of major international organizations, including the United Nations, the World Economic Forum, the Organizations of Petroleum Exporting Countries, and the World Bank.

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