Atmanirbhar Bharat will drive Our Efforts in Evolving Energy Security: Dharmendra Pradhan

The Petroleum & Natural Gas (P&NG) and Steel Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said that the clarion call given by Prime Minister Modi for an Atmanirbhar Bharat will drive our efforts in evolving a comprehensive energy security architecture in the country.

September 30, 2020. By Manu Tayal

The Petroleum & Natural Gas (P&NG) and Steel Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said that the clarion call given by Prime Minister Modi for an Atmanirbhar Bharat will drive our efforts in evolving a comprehensive energy security architecture in the country.

During his keynote address to ‘GCTC Energy Security Conference 2020’ organized by the Global Counter Terrorism Council, Pradhan said that it will be marked by continuity of robust energy policies put in place over the last 6 years, and a change to address the Covid-19 unleashed challenges.

The Minister further added “we are determined to build back better after COVID-19 to ensure that the energy system is secure, clean, resilient and responsive to our citizens’ needs. I am confident that, energy companies in India have powered through COVID-19 relatively intact, and look forward to a revival by embracing Atmanirbhar Bharat through innovation.”

He said that there is an all-of-the Government approach in implementing Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative in energy sector, and in realizing Prime Minister’s Energy Vision of energy access, efficiency, sustainability, security and affordability.

Pradhan also referred to some pathways energy consuming Ministries are aiming to improve energy independence, which include Indian Railways going in for 100 per cent electrification of Indian railway routes by 2023, targeted installation of over 15 lakh standalone solar pumps under Kisan Urja evam Utthan Mahabhiyan by MNRE, Road Transport Ministry supporting Hydrogen enriched CNG as an alternate fuel, Accelerating clean coal technologies by developing coal Gasification projects, and Green Port initiative by the Ministry of Shipping.

He further added that our 5-pronged strategy to reduce crude oil import dependency including increasing domestic oil and gas production, promoting bio fuels and renewables, energy conservation and energy efficiency, improvement in refinery processes and demand substitution, is making an impact.

“In the past, energy security has been seen in a narrow approach, mainly aimed at managing supply. Our government has widened the scope of energy security by making it much more inclusive, and taking into account geo-political, economic, social and environmental dimensions. India’s energy diplomacy and its alignment with our foreign policy over the last 6 years has delivered tangible and substantive results. We have enhanced our engagement with key global energy players, and firmed up of strategic and comprehensive energy engagements with producing countries such as Russia, US, Saudi Arabia and UAE on hand, and close engagement with consuming countries such as Japan and South Korea,” Pradhan said.

On the impact of Covid-19, the Minister said that global pandemic is having enormous impact -both on health and economic fronts. He said that the existing energy frameworks are already witnessing unprecedented transformation.

The P&NG Minister added that, it is imperative that we position ourselves well to handle the current energy challenges to be able to develop our strategies in the post Covid-19 world. India, as world’s third largest consumer of energy, has not only been impacted but also could potentially define the way how global energy trends would emerge.

He also informed that increasingly, Indian oil & gas companies are actively taking part in this clean energy transition, and transforming themselves as Energy companies.

Pradhan told that in order to reduce carbon footprint, these companies will be focusing more on green energy investments such as renewables, biofuels and hydrogen going forward.

The Minister also referred to 5 oil & gas PSUs joining International Solar Alliance’s Coalition for Sustainable Climate Action as Corporate Partners.

He advocated that our quest for energy security will work under the framework of four ‘A’s: availability, accessibility, affordability and acceptability, which is to make energy accessible to all the sections and sectors at an affordable price.

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