Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas & Steel Dharmendra Pradhan today said that by balancing accessibility and affordability, India is creating a global model of energy justice and India will chart its own strategy and pathway for its green energy transition. Speaking at the joint conferences of the 11th World PetroCoal Congress and World Future Fuel Summit today, he said that India’s energy demand is going to increase in the future, and it has taken a number of concrete steps that are shaping India’s energy transition pathways for a low carbon economy. The Minister said that balancing accessibility and affordability, India is creating a global model of energy justice.

Talking about the Global Energy Outlook, the Minister said that recently released reports by IEA, OPEC and British Petroleum indicate that the world total primary energy demand would increase at less than 1% per annum till 2040. On the other hand, India’s Energy demand would grow at about 3% per annum till 2040.

Pradhan said that ensuring access to clean cooking fuel to every household of the country has been a key strategy of Modi government for ending energy poverty. During the last six years, the LPG landscape has completely transformed. The number of LPG Customers in 2014 was 14.5 crore, but has gone up to almost 29 crores in 2021. LPG coverage has increased in less than 7 years from 56% to almost 99.5%. Ujjwala yojana, which provided 8 crore connections to BPL households in a record time, has been a catalyst of socio-economic change and women empowerment. He said that provision for additional 1 crore LPG connections under PMUY announced in budget this year will help in achieving universal coverage.

The Minister said that to reduce vehicular pollution, India leapfrogged from BS-IV to BS-VI emission standards from 1st April, 2020 throughout the country. BS–VI, equivalent to Euro-VI norms and as good as CNG, has improved Auto fuel quality by reducing sulphur content from 50 ppm in BS-IV to 10 ppm in BS-VI. India has joined select league of nations having world’s cleanest EURO-VI compliant petrol and diesel. Oil PSUs have invested Rs 34,000 crore to upgrade plants for producing BS-VI fuel.

Talking about the gas based economy, Pradhan said that investment of 60 billion US dollars is underway for developing gas infrastructure which includes pipelines, city gas distribution and LNG regasification terminals. He said that One Nation, One-Gas Grid will connect all corners of India. He mentioned about Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga Gas Pipeline in eastern states and Indradhanush Gas Pipeline covering entire North Eastern States. CGD network is being expanded to provide equitable access to clean cooking fuel across India.

The Minister said that Ethanol Procurement by OMCs has gone up to 325 crore litre now. The ethanol-blending percentage has increased to 8.5 % now, and the aim is to have 10% blending by 2022 and 20% by 2025.

Mentioning about Compressed Bio-Gas(CBG) from Biomass, Pradhan said that 5000 such plants with a target of 15 MMT equivalent per year will be set up, creating wealth from waste. OMCs are offering assured price and offtake guarantee to private entrepreneurs.  A total of 1500 CBG plants are at various stages of execution. The scheme shall effectively curb stubble burning in farms during harvest season which is a major source of air pollution, he added.

Regarding Bio-diesel, Pradhan said that we are also working towards conversion of Used Cooking Oil to Biodiesel in select cities. The aim is to have 5% blending of biodiesel in diesel by 2025. He said that Talcher coal gasification-based plant will be India’s first coal gasification-based fertilizer plant with pet coke blending.

On the issue of LNG, the Minister said that India became the third largest importer of LNG in October last year. “We are actively encouraging use of LNG for long-haul trucking along expressways, industrial corridors, inside mining areas, marine inland water-based applications.

Pradhan said that Hydrogen-CNG is being used to run 50 buses as part of a pilot project in Delhi. Budget 2021 has launched National Hydrogen Energy Mission for generating hydrogen from green power sources. “This follows Prime Minister Narendra Modi highlighting in November at the Global Renewable Energy Investment Meeting and Expo (RE-Invest) the importance of niche renewable technologies like hydrogen in the renewable energy mix. We are working on a pilot project on Blue Hydrogen, Hydrogen CNG and Green Hydrogen. Through technological advancements we are blending hydrogen with compressed natural gas for use as transportation fuel well as an industrial input to refineries. 50 buses in Delhi are plying on blended Hydrogen in Compressed Natural Gas.”

Talking about other initiatives, Pradhan said that Solar Capacity Increased by 13 times in last 6 years, 37 Cr LED bulbs under UJALA scheme & more than 1 Cr smart LED street light reduced around 43 Million tons of carbon emission annually. He said that plan is to achieve 40% electricity generation from non-fossil fuel-based energy resources by 2030.

The inaugural session of the event was also addressed by the Secretary, Petroleum and Natural Gas Tarun Kapoor, and Secretary coal, Dr Anil Jain.

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