NEW DELHI: India is well on track to meeting the renewable energy target of 175 GW (gigawatt) by 2022 and will raise it to 450 GW by 2030 with a view to ensuring a low carbon footprint as the world’s third largest oil consumer drives global energy demand, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday.
“We are well on track to meet the commitment we made to the global community. We had aimed to increase the renewable energy installed capacity by 175 GW by 2022. We have further extended this goal to 450 GW by 2030. India has one of the lowest carbon emissions than the rest of the industrialized world. Yet, we will continue to make efforts to fight climate change,” the PM said while inaugurating the fourth edition of the India Energy Forum-CERA Week.
Echoing recent outlooks from entities such as BP and International Energy Agency suggesting India as the major driver of energy demand, Modi said this growth will be based on the principle of ensuring “energy justice” while following global commitments for sustainable growth. “This means more energy to improve the lives of Indians. But, with a smaller carbon footprint.”
“India believes that access to energy must be affordable and reliable. That is when socio-economic transformations can take place. We view the energy sector as one that empowers people and furthers ease of living,” the PM said pointing to 100% electrification and expansion in LPG coverage through his government’s flagship programmes. “These changes particularly helped our rural areas, our middle class and the women.”
Referring indirectly to the historic crash in oil demand and prices due to lockdowns prompted by COVID-19 pandemic, Modi pitched for responsible pricing. “For too long, the world has seen crude prices on a roller-coaster. We need to move towards responsible pricing. We have to work towards transparent and flexible markets for both oil and gas,” he said.
Noting that the price instability has impacted investment decisions, Modi said India’s energy consumption is set to double in the long run. But here too, the underpinning was the PM’s climate commitment. “Our energy sector will be growth centric, industry friendly and environment conscious. That is why, India is among the most active nations in furthering renewable sources of energy.”
Oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan said energy has become an essential component and even a strategic component in India’s bilateral engagements with several key global players. “Under the Neighbourhood First Policy, we are developing energy corridors with neighbouring countries and beyond to promote energy access in the region,” he said.
He said Indian oil and gas industry rose to the occasion “in a commendable manner during these challenging times by ensuring energy supplies, including clean cooking fuel, reach the remotest part of the country,” he said.