The Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas and Steel Dharmendra Pradhan hasinvited investors, developers and businesses to be a part of India’s renewable energy journey, assuring them that it will be a highly rewarding and mutually beneficial venture. In the Valedictory Address at the 3rd RE-INVEST 2020 today, he said that India is progressively becoming a favoured destination for investment in renewables. During the last 6 years, over US$ 64 billion investment has been made in renewable energy in India.
Pradhan said that India has a very liberal FDI policy in energy sector, including renewables. “Foreign investors can either invest on their own or enter into joint ventures with an Indian partner for financial and/or technical collaboration for setting up of renewable energy-based power generation projects.”, he said. The Minister assured that “Ease of doing business” is our utmost priority. “Our continuous focus is on maintaining sanctity of contracts and safeguarding investments. We have established dedicated Project Development Cells (PDC) and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) cells in all Ministries for handholding and facilitating domestic and foreign investors. Adequate measures and safeguards have also been undertaken to address the concerns of businesses and investors arising out of the Covid pandemic.”
Pradhan said that India is in the midst of a major transformative shift in its energy sector, to end energy poverty in India. “While doing so, our twin objectives are to enhance availability and affordability of clean fossil fuels and green fuels, and to reduce the carbon footprint through a healthy mix of all commercially-viable energy sources. We are consistently taking energy policy initiatives. Revamping policies, and taking needful measures. We are developing next generation infrastructure based on five guiding key enablers of energy availability and accessibility to all, energy affordability to the poorest of the poor, efficiency in energy use, energy sustainability to combating climate change as a responsible global citizen and security for mitigating the global uncertainties.”The Minister mentioned that our energy agenda is inclusive, market-based and climate sensitive.
Pradhan highlightedseveral initiatives that are spearheaded by the Indian oil & gas industry to broaden the Renewable Energy canvas, and also are also offering enormous investment opportunities. “We have embarked on a major biofuel programme in the country, which has huge investment opportunities. Biofuel is not just science but also a Mantra that will provide a new energy to not only India but also the entire world. It has the power to create a balance between our environment and economic development.We have launched the National Biofuel Policy (NBP) in 2018 to promote biofuels in mass scale with a target of 20% ethanol blending in petrol and 5% of bio-diesel by 2030. We are setting up twelve 2G Ethanol Bio-Refineries in 11 States with an overall capacity of 1100 Kilo Litre per Day (KLPD).”
The Minister mentioned another major transformative energy initiative in the country of developing a gas-based economy leading to ‘One Nation One Gas Grid’. “We have already laid over 16,800 km long gas pipeline network, and additionally 14,700 km gas pipelines are under different stages of construction. An estimated investment of 60 billion US dollars is lined up in developing gas infrastructure, which includes pipelines, city gas distribution and LNG regasification terminals. The vast gas-based infrastructure will offer enormous opportunities for integrating different sources of energy in the country. This is yet another potential area of growth with vast investment opportunities.”, he said
Pradhan invited the participants to look at the investment opportunities in Compressed Bio-Gas (CBG) initiative. “We have a well-developed roadmap for SATAT (Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation), an important initiative of our government, which targets to setup 5000 compressed biogas plants with a target of 15 MMT per year with an investment potential for US $ 20 billion. Indian oil marketing companies are offering to private entrepreneurs assured price and offtake guarantee. The SATAT initiative is in line with the goals of AatmaNirbhar Bharat, Swachh Bharat Mission and boosting MSME sector. Reserve Bank of India has included CBG projects under Priority Sector that will help in getting the loan for CBG plant. I am glad to inform that a total of 1500 CBG plants are at various stages of execution. “
Pradhan mentioned that speaking at the fourth India Energy Forum by CERAweek last month,Hon’ble Prime Minister highlighted seven key drivers of India’s energy strategy going forward. He said that apart from achieving the renewable energy target of 450 gigawatts (GW) by 2030, India will focus on developing in an integrated manner a gas-based economy, cleaner use of fossil fuels, greater reliance on domestic fuels to drive biofuels, increasing the contribution of electricity, moving into emerging fuels like Hydrogen, and promoting digital innovation across all energy systems.
The Minister said that oil and gas companies in India including oil PSUs are investing in developing renewable energy projects by focusing more on green energy investments such as renewables, biofuels and hydrogen going forward.
The Minister said that as COVID-19 challenges the fundamental assumptions of our lives, the urgency of a green revolution in the energy sector gains greater importance. “While the immediate economic impact may slow us down, we are presented with an opportunity to pause, rethink, and design a new and faster transition to a low carbon future more aggressively.”, he said.