Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas and Steel, Dharmendra Pradhan, on September 10 said that India has to improve the availability of energy to over 1.3 billion people, "whose per capita energy consumption is lower than the global average".
Addressing a session on ‘Advancing Inclusive Access to Secure, Affordable, and Sustainable Energy Services’ during the 8th Asian Ministerial Energy Roundtable 2019 in Abu Dhabi, Pradhan said that energy is "extremely crucial" to the overall socio-economic development of India.
"Now, India is the third-largest energy consumer in the world. The
projected energy demand growth is 4.2 percent per annum up to 2035," Pradhan said.
"Our share of total global primary energy demand is set to double to 11 percent by 2040. We are preparing for such a growth path of energy demand in the country," Pradhan added.
Talking about the Energy Vision of India, enunciated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2016, Pradhan stated that it is based on the four pillars of "energy access, energy efficiency, energy sustainability, and energy security".
"As part of our integrated approach towards energy planning during the last five years, energy justice will be a key objective in itself," Pradhan said.
The Union minister said that India is also working towards the early realisation of the seventh goal under United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs).
"A number of transformative policies and initiatives have been taken in
India to realize the above objectives," Pradhan said, adding that India is "significantly expanding" its energy infrastructure.
"We launched a major campaign to improve access to clean cooking fuel under the Ujjwala Yojana scheme three years back. I am happy to inform that PM Modi handed over the 80 millionth LPG connection a couple of days back," Pradhan said.
"A ‘Blue Flame Revolution’ is underway. LPG coverage has reached more than ninety percent from fifty-five percent five years ago," the minister added.
Speaking about rural electrification, Pradhan said that India has achieved the universal electrification of all villages.
"This year, India aims to achieve hundred per cent electrification of households, through a targeted programme called 'Saubhagya'," Pradhan said, adding that India improved its ranking from 111 in 2014 to 29 in 2018 in the World Bank Ease of Getting Electricity ranking.
"As part of a national drive under the UJALA scheme, LED bulbs have been distributed across the country, resulting in an annual saving of nearly
$2.5 billion," Pradhan said.
Pradhan also spoke about clean transportation and said that it is an area of high priority for India.
"We are jumping directly from BS-VI to BS-VI fuel by April 2020. This is the
equivalent of EURO-VI standards," Pradhan said.
Stating that there is a "cardinal shift" to renewable energy resources, Pradhan said that India's target is "175 GW by 2022, with a solar target of 100 GW by 2022".
"We are well on our way to achieving this target," Pradhan said.