Access to energy must be affordable and reliable, says PM Narendra Modi

He said in spite of India having one of the lowest carbon emissions than the rest of the industrialised world, India would continue its efforts to fight climate change
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday emphasised the need for responsible crude pricing at the India Energy Forum, and said the country is looking to ensure energy justice. Modi was addressing the virtual India Energy Forum by CERAWeek.

Modi said India believed that access to energy must be affordable and reliable. “That is when socio-economic transformations can take place. We view the energy sector as one that empowers people and furthers ‘Ease of Living’,” he said.

Modi said transparent and flexible markets for both oil and gas were required to ensure this. “For too long, the world has seen crude prices on a roller-coaster. We need to move towards responsible pricing,” said he.

He said India wanted to encourage domestic gas production and as part of its reforms had allowed for price discovery through the market. “They will give greater marketing freedom in the sale of natural gas through e-bidding. India’s first automated national-level gas trading platform was launched in June. This prescribes standard procedures to discover the market price of gas.” He reiterated plans to achieve ‘One Nation, One Gas Grid’ and shift towards a gas-based economy. 

Modi highlighted the challenges that the oil and gas sector has faced this year. “Energy demand fell by almost one third. There has been price instability. Investment decisions have been impacted. Leading global bodies project that there will be a contraction in global energy demand over the next few years also.” He added, “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.”

Commenting on India’s exploration and licensing policy, Modi added, “The focus has shifted from ‘revenue’ to ‘production’ maximisation. There is also focus on greater transparency and stream-lined procedures.” Modi reiterated plans to grow the country’s refining capacities from about 250 million metric tonnes per annum (mmtpa) to 400 mmtpa by 2025.

Reiterating India’s global commitments towards a green transition, Mod said, “India’s energy plan aims to ensure energy justice while fully following India’s global commitments for sustainable growth. This means more energy is needed to improve the lives of Indians with a smaller carbon footprint.”

He said the target to increase the installed renewable energy capacity to 175 gigawatt (Gw) by 2022 has been extended to 450 Gw by 2030. Modi added that India would continue its efforts to fight climate change despite having among the lowest carbon emissions, compared with the rest of the industrialised world.

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