By Our Correspondent
NEW DELHI: The India Ministerial Dialogue was held at third India Energy Forum by CERAWeek here on Tuesday in which Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Steel, Piyush Goyal, Minister of Railways and Commerce & Industry, Pralhad Joshi, Minister of Coal, Mines and Parliamentary Affairs, and R.K. Singh, Minister of State (I/C) of Power and New & Renewable Energy and Minister of State, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship participated.
In his welcome address, Pradhan said that the presence of ministers at the Forum is a testimony to the high importance that accords to the India’s energy sector in a dynamic global energy landscape. He said Prime Minister has given us a target to transform the Indian economy to a 5 trillion dollar in the next five years. We are making concerted efforts and taking all necessary steps to make this a reality. Energy sector will be fueling India’s journey towards this stated goal of a 5 trillion dollar economy.
Pradhan said that given its huge energy appetite and growth potential, India will be the key driver of global energy demand in the coming decades – in fact, it will experience the fastest growth in energy consumption among all large economies. To meet this huge demand, India would need a healthy mix of all commercially viable energy sources.India will chart its own course of energy transition in a responsible manner and would greatly influence global energy transition. Giving a glimpse of India’s path of energy transition, he said that the share of renewables in electricity capacity has significantly gone up now to 22% from around 10% in 2014-15. Secondly, the ethanol blending percentage has risen from 0.67% in 2012-13 to now close to 6%. Finally,more than 95% households now have access to LPG, making their kitchens smoke free.
Goyal said that we are on cusp of Energy revolution -energy has become an essential commodity in our bilateral trade engagements with several key trading partners, we are improving domestic coal production, reducing import dependency, and Gas is playing an important role in energy basket. He said that Indian Railways is on path to be 100% electrified by 2023. Prime Minister Modi has shown the world, the path to climate justice and a sustainable future. Modern technologies, efficiency in production are transforming the landscape.Pradhan has been on the right track in taking forward India on the path to becoming a gas based economy.”, he added.
Pralhad Joshi said that today there are proven technologies to use coal in a cleaner and more sustainable way, and washeries are being set up. He said that for next 20-30 years, coal will continue to play an important role in Indian energy scenario. He mentioned about setting up of a fertilizer plant in Odisha which would be first of its kind in terms of using coal gasification technology. “While my mandate is to ensure availability of coal, we are equally sensitive about environment issues. Our per capita consumption of coal is about 1/10th of that of the United States.With help of technologies, we are going to use coal in a much cleaner way.We are going big on reclamation of mining areas and afforestation.Energy affordability is key to improving energy access.”, Joshi said.
R.K. Singh said that We are preparing for a low- carbon energy future as our Government has aimed to set up a 450GW of renewable energy capacity by 2030. He said that the Government has succeeded in providing electricity to almost all the households in the country. The energy consumption is increasing and so is power production. The national power grid has become a reality. He said that Natural Gas offers an option of a balancing fuel, as it has proven capability to compliment renewables.
He said, “India is an attractive destination for global investors. Power sector has seen tremendous change in the last five years. We have travelled from being a power deficit nation to a power surplus nation.We have made a quantum leap in our renewable energy capacity. We are one of the fastest growing producers and consumers of renewable energy. We have laid down stringent emission standards for our power plants.In the last five years we have carried out unparalleled and fastest and largest increase in access to energy the world has witnessed. Speaking about investment potential India holds, he said, “If you are in energy, you must be in India.”