Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas & Steel, Dharmendra Pradhan has said that the inevitable shift in global energy consumption to Asia is a reality. Addressing the opening session of the 8th Asian Ministerial Energy Roundtable in Abu Dhabi today, he said that there was a need to ensure that this change is rooted in “energy justice”, which was articulated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the most important component of the Energy Vision of India.
Pradhan said that Emerging Asia will be driving the world economic growth in the coming 20 years. In the global context, developing economies will drive 80 per cent of the incremental global growth, with India and China accounting for more than half of it. He said “Energy access, higher standard of living and improved prosperity in developing countries will primarily drive the energy demand. It is important for the low income, low per capital energy consuming countries to have access to technology and capital when it comes to energy efficiency and cleantech. That will provide better energy security than short term interventions in fossil fuel supply and price.”
The minister said that due to poor and imbalanced energy infrastructure, 400 million people in Asian region have no access to electricity, and rural residents have no access to clean electricity. Therefore, providing safe, stable, affordable and efficient energy has become an important task for all governments.
Describing the Energy Vision of India, Pradhan said that it has been enunciated by Prime Minister Modi in 2016, and 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, India is placing enormous emphasis on energy access with energy justice as a key objective in itself,” he added. He added that India has undertaken a number of path-breaking policies and initiatives during the last five years to realise energy justice for over 1.3 billion people in the country.
Later, addressing the session on ‘Advancing Inclusive Access to Secure, Affordable, and Sustainable Energy Services’ in the event, Pradhan said, “In India, we have to improve availability of energy to over 1.3 billion people, whose per capita energy consumption is lower than the global average. Now, India is the third-largest energy consumer in the world, and its energy demand is growing faster than all major economies of the world. Our share of total global primary energy demand is set to double to 11 per cent by 2040. We are preparing for such a growth path of energy demand in the country. This calls for making matching investments in the energy sector.”
He also informed the gathering that India joined the elite group of nations in August 2018 to operate a flight running on biofuel.
Pradhan also held a series of bilateral discussions with leaders from other countries on the sidelines of the 8th Asian Ministerial Energy Roundtable in Abu Dhabi.