India Energy Week to be A Game Changer for India's Green Energy Transition

IEW 2024, held under the patronage of the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas (MoPNG), is scheduled to take place in Goa from February 6-9.

February 01, 2024. By News Bureau

India is making pioneering innovations to fast-track clean energy transition. The nation’s aim to reach net zero emissions by 2070 is a significant step to fight against climate change. In line with this, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced ambitious targets for 2030, including installation of 500 GW renewable energy capacity and reduction of a billion tonnes of CO2

Borne out of PM Modi’s long standing vision for India’s role in the global energy transition while ensuring energy security, affordability, and accessibility for citizens, the first edition of India Energy Week was organised in Bengaluru from February 6 to 8, 2023. Held under the patronage of Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas, supported by the Federation of Indian Petroleum Industry (FIPI) and managed by dmg events, India Energy Week became the first major event under India's G20 Presidency. Energetica India was the official media partner of India Energy Week 2023 and the only media company from India to cover the event.

The event was inaugurated by PM Modi in the presence of Petroleum Minister Hardeep S. Puri and other dignitaries including Karnataka Governor Thawar Chand Gehlot, Karnataka Chief Minister Basvaraj Bommai, and Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Rameshwar Teli.

During his inaugural speech, the Prime Minister explained four major verticals for the strategy for the energy sector as increasing domestic exploration and production, diversifying the supply, expanding biofuel, ethanol, compressed biogas and solar and de-carbonisation via electric vehicles and hydrogen.

Petroleum Minister Hardeep S. Puri added that the country has carved out an energy agenda which is inclusive, market-based, and climate - sensitive.

The event showcased India's rising prowess as an energy transition powerhouse. Building on the success of the 2023 edition, India Energy Week 2024 is all set to come back in Goa from February 6 – 9 with over 35,000 attendees, 350 exhibitors, 400 speakers and 4,000 delegates from over 100 countries.
Electrification and Decarbonisation
The world is transitioning to renewables. From electrification to cooking and heating systems, everything is gradually being powered by clean energy technologies such as solar, wind and biogas.

The government has transformed power sector from power-deficient to power-sufficient by adding 1,94,394 MW of generation capacity in the past 9 years. The present installed capacity of power generation is around 4,26,132 MW. Out of total generation capacity of 9,943 MW added in the current year 2023-24, 1,674 MW is from fossil fuel sources and 8,269 is from non-fossil fuel sources. During 2023-24, 7,569 MW of renewable capacity (including large hydro) consisting of 5,531 MW of solar, 1,931 MW of wind, 34 MW of biomass, 42 MW of small hydro and 30 MW of large hydro generation capacity has been added (up to November 2023).

In order to promote sustainable cooking, MNRE is supporting the installation of biogas plants and its use as source of alternative fuels for cooking purposes in the country, including rural areas, under the National Biogas Programme.

During IEW 2023, The Prime Minister dedicated the twin-cooktop model of the IndianOil’s Indoor Solar Cooking System and flagged off its commercial roll-out. The revolutionary indoor solar cooking solution works on both solar and auxiliary energy sources simultaneously, making it a reliable cooking solution for India.

Decarbonising industries in India will also play a significant role in achieving 2030 target. Renewable sources such as solar, biogas and green hydrogen are anticipated to find broad applications across various industries.
Transport Transition
India is one of the world’s biggest oil-importing nations. According to a report published by NITI Aayog titled ‘Roadmap for Ethanol Blending in India 2020-25’, India’s net import of petroleum was 185 million tonnes at a cost of USD 55 billion in 2020-21 and a successful ethanol blending program can save USD 4 billion per annum. With large areas of fertile land, rising production of food grains leading to surpluses and availability of technology, ethanol blended petrol has become a strategic requirement of India.

The government has been promoting blending of ethanol in petrol under the Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) Programme with multiple objectives such as reducing import dependence, savings in foreign exchange, providing boost to domestic agriculture sector and for associated environmental benefits.

Launch of E20 and the Journey so far
Prime Minister Modi officially launched E20, a blend of 20 percent ethanol with petrol, at the India Energy Week, at 84 retail outlets of Oil Marketing Companies in 11 States/UTs as part of the government's plans to achieve 20 percent ethanol blending in the overall petrol supply by 2025-2026.

Various government agencies have made rapid moves to put in place a favourable regulatory and retail ecosystem for safe, and effective use of ethanol blended petrol. The establishment of the Global Biofuels Alliance (GBA) aims to address major challenges and realising the potential of biofuels.

The Alliance intends to expedite the global uptake of biofuels through facilitating capacity building exercises, technical support for national programs and promoting policy lessons-sharing, technology advancements, intensifying utilisation of sustainable biofuels through the participation of wide spectrum of stakeholders.  With an aim to increase global biofuel market in the coming years, GBA intends to facilitate development, adoption and implementation of internationally recognised standards, codes, sustainability principles, and regulations to incentivise biofuels adoption and trade.

Under EBP Programme, Public Sector Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) have saved approximately 509 crore litres of petrol on account of ethanol blending during the Ethanol Supply Year (ESY) 2022-23 resulting in savings of more than INR 24,300 crore of foreign exchange and expeditious payment of about INR 19,300 crore to farmers bolstering the agriculture sector.

The government has approved assistance to a total of 1212 projects including 590 molasses-based; 474 grain-based; and 148 dual-feed based projects under interest subvention scheme to enhance ethanol production under EBP.

Recently, Petroleum & Natural Gas Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, highlighted the significant economic impact of the upcoming 2G Refinery at Numaligarh. The refinery, with a capacity of 185 KLPD, is set to create substantial employment opportunities for local farmers by producing ethanol from bamboo.

India has achieved ethanol blending targets ahead of schedule, moving from 1.53 percent in 2014 to 12 percent in 2023. The country has E20 at over 6000 Retail Outlets, with plans for nationwide availability by 2025.

Introduction of CBG Blending Obligation
The National Biofuels Coordination Committee, chaired by Petroleum Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, has announced the introduction of the CBG Blending Obligation (CBO). This strategic initiative aims to boost the production and consumption of Compressed Bio-Gas (CBG) across the country, with a focus on the CNG (Transport) and PNG (Domestic) segments of the City Gas Distribution (CGD) sector.

The CBO will transition from voluntary to mandatory blending starting from the fiscal year 2025-26.

The blending obligation will be phased in at 1 percent, 3 percent, and 4 percent of total CNG/PNG consumption for the fiscal years 2025-26, 2026-27, and 2027-28, respectively. From 2028-29 onwards, the blending obligation will be fixed at 5 percent.

The CBO aims to stimulate demand for CBG in the CGD sector, reduce reliance on Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), contribute to Forex savings, promote a circular economy, and assist in achieving the target of net-zero emissions. The CBO is expected to attract investments of approximately INR 37,500 crore, paving the way for the establishment of 750 CBG projects by 2028-29.

According to a report by Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, there can be a saving of USD 28.9 billion between FY 2025 and FY 2030 through a gradual shift to biogas or CBG.

Furthermore, a significant step was taken to boost biofuels with the announcement of indicative blending percentage targets for Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF/Bio-ATF). These targets include 1 percent SAF blending in 2027 and a subsequent increase to 2 percent in 2028, initially focusing on international flights.

Way Forward
With the government’s latest announcements and recent policy initiatives, many private players are also joining hands to make this distant dream come true.

Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) has revealed its plans to set up 100 CBG plants in five years to convert agri-waste into gas. The company, which has commissioned the first commercial scale CBG plant at Barabanki in Uttar Pradesh, is in talks to various sugar mills to secure a steady supply of press mud for its CBG plants. Meanwhile, Adani Total Gas, part of the Adani Group, intends to set up five CBG plants within by 2028.

India is significantly evolving in terms of renewable energy and the participation from all the public and private entities is here to accelerate India’s transition to green fuel. Events like India Energy Week provides an exceptional platform where policymakers, business leaders and energy pioneers can collaborate, discover new opportunities and strengthen partnerships.

- Energetica India Magazine
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