Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas and Steel Dharmendra Pradhan today said that on the energy front, we are developing a clear roadmap of Aatma Nirbhar Urja for Aatma Nirbhar Bharat. Addressing the ASSOCHAM Foundation Week 2020 today on “Energy Transition to Fuel India’s Growth Path”, he invited India Inc. to join the Atmanirbhar Bharat Urja initiatives and said that we have to ensure energy justice and end energy poverty in the country. This means more energy to improve the lives of Indians with a smaller carbon foot-print. He said that our energy sector will be growth-centric, industry friendly and environment conscious. He said that the energy sector will continue to play a pivotal role in our national development, and in realization of the 5 trillion-dollar economy.
The minister said that at the core of the Government’s efforts is to achieve a growth path that is sustainable, keeping in view our national priorities and resources. He said that speaking at the Climate Ambition Summit last week, Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji announced that Centennial India in 2047 will not only meet its own targets, but will also exceed your expectations.
Pradhan said that there is an all-of-the Government approach to realize the energy transition road map. “Our Government is converting Covid-impacted challenges into opportunities. We have initiated the most significant reforms as envisoned by Prime Minister Modi in building an Aatmanirbhar Bharat or self-reliant India. We have already initiated reforms to transform India from being just a passive market to an active manufacturing hub at the heart of global value chains. We are partnering with the industry and other stakeholders in realizing this vision.”, he added.
Pradhan said that India is now among the fastest growing large economies of the world with a strong determination to end poverty, including energy poverty, in the country. This demands rapid expansion of energy consumption & energy security. “Our Government is committed to meet both these ends in a sustainable manner’, he added.
The Minister said that during the last six years, India’s energy landscape has undergone a transformational change. We are now the third largest energy consumer in the world after US and China.
Pradhan said that the Covid pandemic continues to inhibit conduct of normal activity. But there are clear indications of improvements and a gradual increase in activity across all States and sectors of our economy. “We see a reflection of these efforts in how India’s energy sector has bounced back with remarkable resilience. Our energy demand has almost recovered back to pre-Covid levels, particularly for petroleum products, on the back of rejuvenation of economic activities. “
The Minister said that the energy transition road map of India has been outlined by Hon’ble Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi, who has defined seven key drivers: Accelerating efforts to move towards a gas-based economy, Cleaner Use of Fossil Fuels, Particularly Petroleum And Coal; Greater reliance on domestic sources to drive biofuels, Achieving renewables target of 450 GW by 2030, Increasing contribution of electricity to de-carbonize mobility, Moving into emerging fuels including hydrogen; and digital innovation across all energy systems.
The Minister said that there are enormous opportunities in the energy sector, and there is a lot more that the Indian industry needs to embrace as partners in progress. He talked about a paradigm shift in the philosophy of the Government from revenue generation to production maximization to enhance the domestic production of crude oil and natural gas. Several policy initiatives have been taken and reforms initiated, including facilitating the ease-of-business for the Exploration & Production sector. “We now allow 100% FDI in exploration and production projects and also permit 49% FDI in public sector refining under the automatic route. We have created a friendly tax regime for Sovereign Wealth and Pension Funds. These reforms are translating into increased FDI flow in the sector.”
Pradhan said that we are ushering a gas-based economy by increasing the share of natural gas in India’s primary energy mix from 6.2% to 15 % by year 2030. Prime Minister has announced last year the target of ‘One Nation One Gas Grid’. India is set to expand the natural gas grid to 34,500 km, by adding another 17000 km of gas pipeline. “Our regasification capacity of existing 42 MMTPA will be expanded to 61 MMTPA by year 2022. Natural gas marketing reforms have been announced to prescribe standard procedure to discover market price across various contractual regimes through a transparent and competitive manner. Also, we have rationalized tariff to make natural gas affordable in every part of the country.” The Minister also talked about launch of India’s first automated national-level gas trading platform and expansion of coverage of City Gas Distribution projects to cover 232 Geographical Areas spread over 400 districts, with a potential to cover about 53% of country’s geography and 70% of population.
The Minister said that we are adopting clean mobility solutions, with greater use of LNG as a transportation fuel including long haul trucking. On the investments front, he said that we have envisaged a spend of $60 billion in creating gas infrastructure till 2024, including for pipelines, LNG terminals and CGD networks.
Pradhan said that the Government has embarked on a massive programme on alternative fuels for enhancing India’s energy sustainability. “We are tapping into huge biomass potential through National Biofuels Policy. lndia’s Oil Marketing Companies are ahead of the curve having already committed to set up twelve 2G bio-refineries and ethanol blended petrol. We are boosting rural economy by waste to wealth generation, under the Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation (SATAT) initiatives. We are setting up of 5000 CBG plants by 2023-24 with production target of 15 MMT with an investment of about US $ 20 billion. Our Government is also giving a push to adopt hydrogen fuel mix. Major oil and gas companies have taken a lead by promoting International Solar Alliance in addition to installing renewable energy capacities through independent efforts.”