India should become energy independent before 2047, MEA
To become energy independent before the 100th year of independence, India should focus on self-sufficiency in all aspects of energy ecosystem including, storage, transportation, insurance and retailing of energy, said Mr Prabhat Kumar, Additional Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) at the CII Energy Security Conference on Thursday.
“We have to aim for self-sufficiency in as many aspects of the energy ecosystem as possible including exploration, storage, transportation, retailing of energy, insurance, other midstream and downstream activities. If you look at global energy giants, many of them do not hail from countries that had rich energy reserves, but they excelled in other areas—such as exploration, pipelines, retailing and other technologies. That’s the model for us to follow as well (to become a critical stakeholder in the energy economy). Hydrocarbons should only be a small part of the energy economy that we are aiming to build,” said Mr Kumar. He added that India should also develop storage capacities, not only in oil but also natural gas, that can help the country mitigate any energy crisis.
Dr Navneet Mohan Kothari, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, emphasised the need to protect the common man from the volatility in energy markets resulting from geo-political events that are adversely affecting energy supply. "The government is focusing on exploration so that India can reduce reliance on imports and insulate the country from effects in the energy sector arising from geopolitical situations," Mr Kothari added.
“As the energy demand is expected to grow manifold, we may need to embrace all options including renewables and fossils. Obvious opportunities will be in the solar and wind sector as well as energy efficiency companies,” said Mr T Srinivas, COO, Refinery and Marketing, Reliance Industries Limited. However, technologies in alternative and renewable energies are still being perfected and players are facing challenges in delivering projects that they have bid for and in that transition time, for policy stability, government support will be needed, he added.
“There is a huge focus on renewable energy because of our climate related goals. In addition to solar panels and wind-turbines, we should invest in technologies of forward and backward integration” Mr Kumar of MEA added.
10 November 2022