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PM Modi rolls out red carpet for foreign investors in India’s energy sector

Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday exhorted foreign investors “to explore every possibility related to India’s energy sector and get involved with it as the country is the most suitable place in the world for investment.”

Inaugurating the India Energy Week (IEW) 2023 in Bengaluru today, PM Modi referred to the recently released IMF projections of India being the fastest-growing major economy. that India has continued to be the global bright spot in the world stricken with the pandemic and the era of war in 2022, he added.

“The National Green hydrogen mission will give a new direction to the India of the 21st century”, the Prime Minister remarked. He underlined that the country is aiming to produce 5 MMTPA green hydrogen by the end of this decade which brings in the possibility of investments of more than Rs 8 lakh crore. He also added that India will increase the share of green hydrogen to 25 percent by replacing grey hydrogen.

The Prime Minister also touched upon the crucial subject of battery cost in EVs and noted that its cost is 40-50 percent of the cost of the car. He informed that the government has started a PLI scheme worth 18,000 crores which will be a significant step towards manufacturing advanced chemistry cells of 50 GigaWatt hours.

The Prime Minister gave a detailed exposition of emphasis on renewable energy, energy efficiency, sustainable transportation and green technologies in the new budget. 35,000 crores have been kept for priority capital investment to push energy transition and net-zero objectives. Provision for 10 lakh crore rupees capital expenditure will give a push to green hydrogen, solar to road infrastructure.

The Prime Minister noted that the mass movement going on in India regarding energy transition has become the subject of a case study. “This is happening in two ways: Firstly, fast adoption of renewable sources of energy and secondly, adoption of effective methods of energy conservation”, the Prime Minister explained as he noted the rapid adoption of renewable sources of energy by the citizens of India.

The Prime Minister linked India’s effort for Green Growth, and Energy Transition with Indian values of where circular economy is part of every Indian’s lifestyle and Reduce, Reuse and Recycle is part of the culture. He said initiatives of recycling plastic bottles into uniforms will strengthen Mission LiFE.

The Prime Minister also launched the uniforms under the ‘Unbottled’ initiative of Indian Oil. These uniforms are made of recycled PET bottles. He also dedicated the twin-cooktop model of the IndianOil’s Indoor Solar Cooking System and flagged off its commercial roll-out.

Later in the day, the Prime Minister also launched E20 fuel at 84 retail outlets of Oil Marketing Companies in 11 States/UTs along the lines of the ethanol blending roadmap. He also flagged off the Green Mobility Rally where vehicles running on green energy sources will participate and help create public awareness for green fuels.

Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister underlined the major role of the energy sector in setting the direction of the future of the 21st-century world. “India is one of the strongest voices in the world for energy transition and for developing new resources of energy. Unprecedented possibilities are emerging in India that is moving with a resolution of a Viksit Bharat”, he said.

Emphasising the need and demand for energy in India in the near future, the Prime Minister noted that the rapid pace of development in India will result in new cities being developed. Quoting International Energy Association, the Prime Minister remarked that India’s energy demands will be highest in the present decade which presents an opportunity for the investors and stakeholders of the energy sector. He informed that India’s share in the global oil demand is 5% which is expected to rise to 11%, whereas the gas demand of India is expected to rise up to 500%. He underlined that new opportunities for investment and collaboration are being created by the expanding energy sector of India.

The Prime Minister explained four major verticals for the strategy for the energy sector. First, increasing domestic exploration and production, diversifying the supply, and third, expanding fuels like biofuel, ethanol, compressed biogas and solar. Fourth, de-carbonisation via electric vehicles and hydrogen. Elaborating on these verticals the Prime Minister said India is the fourth largest country for its refining capacity. Efforts are on to increase the capacity to 450 MMTPA from the current capacity of 250 MMTPA. “We are continuously making our refining capacity indigenous, modern and upgraded”, he said. Similarly, India is working to enhance Petrochemical production capacity. He asked the leadership of the industry to utilise technology and the startup ecosystem of India to expand their energy landscape.

The Prime Minister informed that the government is working on mission mode to increase the consumption of natural gas in our energy mix from 6% to 15% by 2030 where all the needed infrastructure will be provided by ‘One Nation One Grid’.

Highlighting India’s emphasis on domestic exploration and production, the Prime Minister informed that the EP sector has shown interest in the areas hitherto considered inaccessible. “We have reduced the ‘No-Go’ areas. Due to this, 10 lakh square kilometre area has been freed from the restrictions of No-Go. I would urge all the investors to make use of these opportunities, and increase your presence in the exploration of fossil fuels”, he said.