NITI Aayog is likely to unveil the new National Energy Policy in the next three months with a focus on air quality issue, renewable energy, natural gas, universal electrification and clean cooking fuel. The policy will replace Integrated Energy Policy that envisioned a road map for sustainable growth with energy security over a reasonable period of time. It was approved by the Union Cabinet in December 2008 during UPA regime. “The work on National Energy Policy is in advance stages. NITI Aayog would be able to bring out the policy in 10-12 weeks,” a senior official said. The official said,”The policy will replace the earlier Integrated Energy Policy. In addition to the areas covered under the existing policy, the new document will focus on air quality issue, renewable energy, natural gas, universal electrification and clean cooking fuel.”
“Earlier policy did not cover natural gas exhaustively as the prices were very high in 2006-07. Secondly, the government is pushing renewables which would be covered under this. Since the government wants to provide electricity and clean cooking fuel to all. It will provide an outlook on these subjects,” he said. The official also said that the policy will also make a case of “polluter pays” in view of deteriorating air quality, industrial emission and vehicular pollution. The new policy will also incorporate energy modelling, which in other words is computerised simulation of a building or complex that focuses on energy consumption, utility bills and life cycle costs of various energy related items. It is also used to evaluate ‘payback’ of green energy solutions like solar panels and photovoltaics, wind turbines and high efficiency appliances. NITI Aayog is also working on a platform that will host all the data related to energy sector in the country including oil & gas, coal, solar & thermal energy etc. The official said that it will take three to four years to develop this New Energy Data Agency.
Aayog is in the process of inking a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with US Energy Information Administration (EIA) for this purpose. In its run up to unveiling detailed road map for country’s energy security, NITI Aayog is organising National Conference On Energy Data: Management, Modelling and GIS Mapping on next Wednesday. During the conference, US Ambassador and UK High Commissioner will talk about India’s collaborations with USAID and Department of Energy & Climate Change (UK). Aayog is also working on geospatial map related to energy infrastructure to boost renewable sources.