Moving a step closer to set up a portal to host all the data related to energy sector in the country, Niti Aayog today inked a pact with US Energy Information Administration (EIA). The think tank is working to develop India’s energy data agency which would take 3-4 years to develop. The web portal will host all the data related to energy sector including oil & gas, coal, solar & thermal energy etc. On the occasion, Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister Anil Madhav Dave made a case for having a global energy data grid which clearly specified the use of clean and unclean (polluting) energy across the world to deal with the larger issue of climate change. “It is very vital to collect, store and analyse data properly and let the society know about facts. These will lead the society in right direction,” Dave said addressing the Niti Aayog’s National Conference on Energy: Data Management, Modelling and GIS Mapping. The Minister was of the view that the whole world is one family and universal problems like climate change would need a universal solution to it. US Ambassador to India Richard R Verma said: “The real challenge (for India) is to provide power and energy to all. Growing at 8 per cent and still doing so in carbon neutral way is very very ambitious (in view of India’s 175 GW renewable energy target).” Niti Aayog also inked an SOP with US Agency for International Development (USAID) and UK’s Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) for collaboration in the area of energy research. On the occasion, British High Commissioner to India Dominic Asquith said: “Our longstanding partnership with Niti Aayog on the India Energy Security Scenarios (IESS) 2047 is an outstanding example of our collaboration, and one which we are all rightly proud of. We believe that access to transparent, open access and reliable data is critical in developing the right policies. The IESS tool is a great example of providing access to informative and reliable data.” Niti Aayog Vice Chairman Arvind Panagariya also stressed on the need for providing affordable energy to all round the clock.