India will be the key driver of global energy demand: Pradhan

global energy demand, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, carbon emission, electric vehicles, hydrocarbon use, India Energy Forum
Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said that the energy sector will be fuelling India’s journey towards the goal of a $5-trillion economy. Photo: Facebook.

India will chalk out its own way of energy transition in a responsible manner even as the country is said to be a key driver of global energy demand in coming decades, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Tuesday (October 15).

An age in which the world is battling threats to the environment due to the increase of carbon emission, countries around the globe are under pressure to switch to renewable power and electric vehicles said to be much greener sources to reduce the use of hydrocarbon.

While addressing a ministerial dialogue at India Energy Forum by CERAWeek, Pradhan said though the per capita energy consumption of India is only about one-third of the world’s average, the country is the third-largest energy consumer in the world in absolute terms after the US and China.

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“This makes it imperative to ensure energy justice to all, which essentially means access to energy in an affordable and sustainable manner,” he said.

Pradhan opined that India will be the key driver of global energy demand in the coming decades considering its huge energy appetite and growth potential.

“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.”

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No single source can meet the energy demand, he said.

“India will chart its own course of energy transition in a responsible manner and would greatly influence global energy transition,” he said.

Speaking about the energy sector, Pradhan said, the sector will be fuelling India’s journey towards the goal of a $5-trillion economy.

Pointing at India’s plans for energy transition, he said, the share of renewable in electricity capacity has significantly gone up now to 22 percent from around 10 percent in 2014-15.

Also, the ethanol blending percentage in petrol has risen from 0.67 percent in 2012-13 to close to 6 percent now. “Finally more than 95 percent households now have access to LPG, making their kitchens smoke free,” he said.

“We are preparing for a low-carbon energy future underpinned by our government’s aim to set up 450 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2030. As the penetration of variable renewable energy grows in the mix, it will be important for us to consider back-up, dispatchable generation sources in our national electricity plan,” he said.

Natural gas, he said, offers an option of a balancing fuel. It “has proven capability to compliment renewables.”

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Similarly, the fuels of the future will have the greatest impact in choices for transport where several fuels will be in play, both in absolute and hybrid ways. This preferred spectrum of transportation fuel would be comprised of conventional hydrocarbon, LNG, CNG and electric energy, he said.

LNG as a transportation fuel for the long haul and heavy-duty transport like Railways offers tremendous potential, he added.

“Today there are proven technologies to use coal in a cleaner and more sustainable way. We are setting up a fertiliser plant in Odisha which would be first of its kind in terms of using coal gasification technology. We also have technologies to extract coal bed methane,” he said.

Energy has become an essential commodity in bilateral trade engagements with several key trading partners and in positioning India as an important strategic player in global energy landscape, he added.

(With inputs from agencies)

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