Home / Industry / Energy /  Some economies exacerbating fuel crisis, food insecurity: Minister Puri

New Delhi: Union minister for petroleum and natural gas Hardeep Singh Puri on Tuesday said that at a time when global energy market is witnessing massive volatility amid the Russia-Ukraine and the need for affordable energy has grown, some economies continue to exacerbate fuel poverty and food insecurity.

Speaking at the opening session of the 9th Asian Ministerial Energy Roundtable, the minister said that advanced economies committed over $500 billion in funds to support and shield consumers and secure alternative fuel supplies by temporarily reverting to nuclear and higher carbon intensity fuel to need their requirements.

The minister also raised the issue of energy crisis and said it has a ripple effect on other sectors . “The unprecedentedly high level of gas prices has created a fertilizer crisis which in turn has created food security concerns. Further, the high energy and commodity prices have raised inflationary concerns and many countries are facing recessionary fears," Puri said.

India imports 85% of its energy requirement, and has been trying to diversify its import sources for oil and gas. The country's energy demand is projected to increase 37.7 million barrels per day in 2045 from 18.6 million barrels per day of oil in 2021.

Minister Puri said that climate change is the defining challenge of current times, and stakes are particularly high for the Asia region with temperatures rising two times faster than the global average. Thus, a low carbon emission pathway for development is the key to mitigating climate change risks.

“However, the reality is more complex because the starting point and the capacity of each country and region to transition from a reliance on conventional hydrocarbons to low-carbon energy are different across the globe. This is demonstrated by major differences in the level of detail and ambition of nationally declared commitments (NDCs) in the pursuit of net zero at the country and regional levels," Puri said.

The minister said that the energy transition will be more of a wave of managed change in the global energy portfolio versus an event, ensuring energy access and security, while progressing to net zero. Puri added that the under PM Narendra Modi, India has been making strides in ensuring energy security for its citizens with stable, sustainable and affordable prices.

“India’s energy transition, therefore, is extraordinary not just in terms of scale and coverage but also creates hope and a blueprint for the worlds developing nations who are facing similar challenges. India is undertaking an ambitious journey of the energy transition to achieve net carbon zero by 2070. However, this transition has to be stable and just to ensure that it is sustainable," the minister added.

Meanwhile, India, being the third-largest consumer of fuel after the US and China has embarked on a dynamic new phase in its energy transformation, which spans three broad areas.

Firstly, it has launched important initiatives to bring down the prices and increase the supply of clean energy. These include a target of non-fossil fuel sources contributing to 50 per cent of India’s power generation capacity by 2030; a National Green Hydrogen Mission with the ambition of establishing annual renewable hydrogen production of 5 million tonne (MT) by 2030; and biofuel mandates that target 30 per cent blending of ethanol in petrol by 2030.

Secondly, India seeks to domesticate parts of the global supply chains that will be critical to its new energy economy. This includes the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme that promotes the domestic manufacturing of solar PV, advanced batteries and electric vehicles.

Thirdly, the government has focused on demand-side measures, including taking the first steps towards the creation of a national carbon market, an energy efficiency trading scheme for industries, incentivising the purchase of electric vehicles, bulk procurement of electric buses for public transport, standards and labelling of appliances, and most recently, the Lifestyles for Environment (LiFE) initiative that aims to nudge behaviours and individual consumption choices towards cleaner alternatives.

These measures have immense potential but need global support. The IEA estimates that India will need $145 billion per year until 2030 in clean energy investment to put it on a path towards net-zero emissions by 2070. This is triple the current level of annual clean energy investment in India.

The 9th Asian Ministerial Energy Roundtable, being co-hosted by India with International Energy Forum, was attended by Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, Minister of Energy of Saudi Arabia; Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and Special Envoy for Climate of the United Arab Emirates; Lin Shanqing, Vice Administrator, National Energy Administration of China; Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury, Adviser to the Prime Minister of Bangladesh; Cheon Young-ghil, Deputy Minister for Energy Policy, Ministry of Energy, Industry and Trade of Korea; Haitham Al-Ghais, Secretary General, OPEC and Fatih Birol, Executive Director, IEA.

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