India accelerating efforts to move towards gas-based economy: Dharmendra Pradhan


India is moving rapidly towards cleaner use of fossil fuels, particularly petroleum and coal, said Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan on Wednesday.

“We are accelerating our efforts to move towards a gas-based economy. A greater reliance is on domestic sources to drive biofuels,” said Pradhan while interacting with Stanford Alumni Group on “The Future of Energy in India”.

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“We are working towards achieving the renewables target of 450 GW by 2030, increasing the contribution of electricity to de-carbonize mobility, moving into the emerging fuels, including hydrogen, and emphasising on digital innovation across energy systems,” he added.

Pradhan stated that India is currently using only 6% of the world’s primary energy while the per capita consumption of energy is still one-third of the global average. However, the pattern of consumption is now changing.

He quoted recently released reports that have estimated that the world’s 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.

‘Availability and accessibility’

Pointing towards the fact that India’s developmental stage requires a rapid expansion of energy consumption and a need for robust energy security, the union minister said the country is working towards a “one – nation-one – gas-grid” structure to enhance energy availability and accessibility.

He said that India is looking to add approximately 17,000 kms of gas pipelines in the eastern and north-eastern states. “We have pushed up the consumption levels of gas hard—as a result, we see rapid penetration and expansion of natural gas in the country. We believe that the proactive model that we have adopted is suited for India’s present development journey,” said Pradhan.

The minister had said earlier this month that the government has planned a $60 billion investment for creating gas infrastructure in the country till 2024, and gas’ share in the energy mix is expected to rise to 15 per cent by 2030.

According to Pradhan, the central government is most committed to environmental and climate causes with massive renewable energy and the energy efficiency programs.

India’s first automated national-level gas trading platform was launched in June this year to promote and sustain an efficient and robust gas market and foster gas trading in the country.

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