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Speech of the Petroleum Minister Shri Dharmendra Pradhan at the launch of World Energy Outlook special report “India Energy Outlook”

Speech of the Petroleum Minister Shri Dharmendra Pradhan at the launch of World Energy Outlook special report “India Energy Outlook”


It gives me immense pleasure to be present here today at the launch of “India Energy Outlook” by the International Energy Agency (IEA). Over the years, the World Energy Outlook reports brought out by IEA have provided pointers towards the emerging global energy landscape besides providing vital statistical information on the oil and gas sector. I am sure that the World Energy Outlook for 2015, which was launched in London earlier this month, would be equally insightful for oil & gas industry leaders, companies and policymakers everywhere.

It is a matter of immense satisfaction and pride for us that this year’s World Energy Outlook report has an in-depth country focus on India, which is being launched today as India section of the World Energy Outlook.Needless to add, India’s rapidly rising energy stature globally is well-deserved. With a large economy, growing population with low per capita energy consumption, an expanding middle-class and increasing urbanization, there is only one way for India’s energy demands to go : that is up.

I went through the Executive Summary of the World Energy Outlook 2015, and came across some very interesting observations and trends.

1.   By 2040, India’s energy demand will be close to that of the United States, even though demand per capita will still remain 40% below the world average.

2.   The estimated investment which will be required in India’s energy sector till 2040 is of the order of US$ 2.8 trillion.

3.   The report projects that India’s oil import dependence will increase above 90% by 2040.

4.   The oil market is expected to rebalance at US$ 80/barrel by 2020, and likely to further increase thereafter.

5.   Developing Asian countries, including China and India, account for almost 50% of rise in global gas demand & 75% of the increase in LNG imports. Yet, gas will face competition from coal and renewables.

6.   The world is moving rapidly towards efficient energy production and consumption; at the same time, low-carbon energy options are becoming progressively more cost-competitive.

As a policymaker looking after India’s petroleum sector, I found these nuggets of information very thought-provoking.

The govt is determined to provide universal access to reliable and affordable energy to all sections of our people. In line with the vision of Hon’ble Prime Minister, we want to cut down India’s import dependence for domestic energy needs by 10% in the next 6-7 years. We are keen to make India’s oil & gas sector fair, transparent and attractive for domestic and foreign investors through appropriate policy, regulatory and fiscal interventions.

In the crucial LPG sector, the Government is making all out efforts to extend the LPG coverage to 75% of the households in the next 4 years. We have launched a highly successful Direct Benefit Transfer Scheme, or the PAHAL Scheme, to streamline LPG subsidies. This has been declared as the world’s largest cash transfer scheme by the Guinness Book.   We have also asked the well-off sections of the country to voluntarily surrender LPG subsidy under the “GiveItUp” campaign; so far more than 5 million people have given up their LPG subsidy. Besides, we have also provided 2.6 million LPG connections to poor households under “Give Back” initiative.

We are pursuing several petroleum sector-specific measures under “Clean India” initiative. In line with the vision laid down by Hon’ble Prime Minister, we want to realize a Clean and Green fuel-based economy in the country. To this end, we are actively promoting City Gas Distribution networks and connecting major cities with “Green Highways”, which will have vehicles running on CNG and LNG with adequate re-fuelling stations. The Government’s Bio-Fuel program has resulted in mandatory 5% Ethanol blending in petrol while 5% Bio-diesel blending in diesel has already started in 18 cities.

In a major push towards sustainable development, we have increased targets for renewable energy capacity addition to 175 Gigawatts by 2021-22 which will result in reduction of over 326 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year.I am pleased to share that NITI Aayog has been given the mandate of developing a long-term “Integrated Energy Policy” for India. This is the vision of Hon’ble Prime Minister which is being co-ordinated under the able guidance of Dr. Arvind Panagariya. Various stakeholders, including my Ministry, are actively involved in this exercise; we are hopeful that IEA’s India-specific report will provide valuable inputs for this policy making exercise. Going forward, we would like to have IEA’s co-operation on this and similar energy-related policy matters.

In another 3 days from now, the 2015 UN Climate Change Conference, or COP21, will convene in Paris. Our Prime Minister has already given a call for “Climate Justice” to protect the poor and vulnerable from adverse impacts of climate change. India has declared its Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) which aim to reduce the Emissions Intensity of its GDP by 33 to 35 per cent by 2030 from 2005 level.Before concluding, my compliments once again to International Energy Agency for bringing out this India Energy Outlook.

Anand Gupta Editor - EQ Int'l Media Network


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