India is set to emerge as a leading energy consumer even as global consumption is set to contract, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday, noting that the country was on track to meet its renewable energy commitments. Speaking at the India Energy Forum by CERAWeek, he said that while the coronavirus pandemic had led to global energy demand falling by a third, India was set to double its energy consumption over the long term.
“Leading global bodies project that there will be a contraction in global energy demand over the next few years, but these agencies project India to emerge as a leading energy consumer. India is set to nearly double its energy consumption over the long term,” he said. The Prime Minister also said India would increase its domestic petroleum refining capacity from about 250 million tonnes per annum to about 400 million tonnes per annum by 2025.
Stating that the country was committed to meeting green energy commitments to the global community, he said, “We had aimed to increase the renewable energy installed capacity by 175 gigawatts by 2022. We have further extended this goal to 450 gigawatts by 2030.”
Modi added that though India has among the lowest carbon emissions in the industrialised world, the country would continue to make efforts to fight climate change. India currently has an installed renewable energy capacity of around 88 GW.
The PM also highlighted government reforms in the oil and gas sector including reforms in the exploration and licensing, as well reforms offering greater marketing freedom for the sale of natural gas noting the government’s increased emphasis on transparency and streamlining procedures. “Our energy sector will be growth-centric, investor-friendly and environment conscious,” he said.
Modi also congratulated Pulitzer Prize winning author and energy expert Dr Daniel Yergin on his contributions to the energy sector and the release of his book ‘The New Map’. He further said that accelerating efforts towards a gas-based economy, cleaner use of fossil fuels, meeting renewable energy targets, increasing the use of electricity in mobility and moving towards emerging fuels such as hydrogen were key drivers of India’s energy future.
Petroleum Minster Dharmendra Pradhan, who was also present at the event, said that consumption of petroleum products in the country was on track to reach pre-Covid levels and that energy security had become a “strategic comonent in our bilateral engagements with several key global players.” India recently signed a memorandum of understanding with the United states to potentially lease space in the US to store strategic reserves.
“Our energy agenda in India is inclusive, market based and climate sensitive,” said Pradhan, noting that the government had been working on “mission mode” to meet the country’s rapidly growing energy needs.
NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant, who also attended at the programme, said India had become a pre-eminent example of a developing country leading a sustainability conversation. “In just about a decade, India has become the top five solar countries in the world,” he said, adding that India’s 450 GW renewable energy expansion programme was the world’s largest and included about 280 GW of solar energy.
“To achieve the target of 280 GW of solar (installed capacity), around 25-30GW solar PV is needed to be installed every year till 2030,” said Kant.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines