BENGALURU: Inviting global investors to India’s energy space, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the country was the most suitable destination for investments in renewable energy.
Addressing the inaugural ceremony of the India Energy Week 2023, the Prime Minister urged stakeholders to explore every possibility related to India’s energy sector and get involved with it. He gave a detailed exposition of his Government’s emphasis on renewable energy, energy efficiency, sustainable transportation and green technologies in the new Budget and noted that Rs. 35,000 crore has been kept for priority capital investment to push energy transition and net-zero objectives.
Green hydrogen boost
The PM also said that Rs 10 trillion worth of overall capital expenditure will provide a boost to green hydrogen, solar, road infrastructure, among others. In the last nine years India’s renewable energy capacity has risen to about 170 gigawatts from 70 gigawatts, in which solar power increased by 20 times and India was number four in wind power capacity.
“We are aiming to have 50 per cent non-fossil fuel capacity by the end of this decade. We are also working very fast on biofuel, and ethanol blending. In the last nine years, we have increased ethanol blending in petrol from 1.5 per cent to 10 per cent. Now we are moving towards the target of 20 per cent ethanol blending”, the Prime Minister added.
He also said that 20 per cent ethanol blended petrol would be rolled out to cover 15 cities and within two years it will be expanded to the entire country.
Talking of the energy transition in India, PM Modi said, “This is happening in two ways. Firstly, fast adoption of renewable sources of energy and secondly, adoption of effective methods of energy conservation…More than three crore households will have access to solar cooktops within the next two-three years. With more than 25 crore families in India, this will bring a revolution in the kitchen.”
Speaking on the recently-approved National Green Hydrogen Mission, he said it would give a new direction to India of the 21st century and bring about an investment opportunity worth over Rs. 8 trillion. He also added that India will increase the share of green hydrogen to 25 per cent by replacing grey hydrogen.
During the day, the Prime Minister launched uniforms under the ‘Unbottled’ initiative of Indian Oil, wherein the uniforms are made of recycled PET bottles. He also dedicated the twincooktop model of Indian Oil’s Indoor Solar Cooking System and flagged off its commercial roll-out.
Later he launched E20 fuel at 84 retail outlets of oil marketing companies in 11 states and Union Territories along the lines of the ethanol blending roadmap. He also flagged off the Green Mobility Rally where vehicles running on green energy sources will participate and help create public awareness for green fuels.
On the Government’s plans to boost exploration and production in the country, the PM said global players should look at opportunities in the E&P space in the country. Citing data from International Energy Association, he said India’s energy demand will be highest in the present decade which presents an opportunity for investors and stakeholders of the industry.
Emphasis in Budget
He said India’s share in global oil demand is 5 per cent, which is expected to rise to 11 per cent, while the demand for gas is expected to rise up to 500 per cent. The latest Budget presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is noteworthy for the emphasis it has laid on the Government’s commitment to move towards net-zero carbon emission by 2070.
As an article presented at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos last month notes, India holds the key to hitting global climate change targets given its sizeable and growing energy needs.
With the country’s population set to overtake China’s sometime this year, India’s appetite for energy to propel the economy is set to surge exponentially. The transition to green alternatives from the current reliance on fossil fuels is, therefore, an urgent imperative and an opportunity to leverage this move to catalyse new industries, generate jobs on a sizeable scale, and add to overall economic output.
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