For Prelims: Advantages of Blending of ethanol in petrol, disadvantages of blending of ethanol in petrol, and Gas based economy. 

For Mains: Main energy sectors, energy transition process, sustainable energy transition, challenges of energy transition

Why in the news?

To increase self-reliance in the energy sector, the Indian government has been implementing a number of initiatives to draw more E&P (Exploration & Production) investment.

What do we need to know about the energy sector in India?

  • The energy industry in India is one of the most diverse in the entire world. Power is produced using a variety of sources, including reliable non-conventional ones like wind, solar, agriculture, and household waste, as well as traditional ones like coal, lignite, natural gas, oil, hydropower, and nuclear power.
  • As of 2020, India's installed capacity for renewable energy was fourth, followed by solar power in fifth place, and wind power in fourth place.
  • In 2019, nearly all households had access to electricity, which means that in less than 20 years, over 900 million people have now been connected to the grid.
  • Nevertheless, despite a twofold increase in energy demand, India's per-capita electricity consumption is only a third of the global average.
  • Making plans for a safe and sustainable form of energy self-reliance is therefore necessary to keep up with the rising demand for energy.

What does the need for energy sector self-reliance entail?

  • The cornerstone of a green and sustainable economy is self-reliance through green energy initiatives. Green energy initiatives emphasize clean energy and its accessibility to all people and businesses.
  • India does not possess energy independence. It imports energy for more than Rs 12 lakh crore.
  • Prior to the 100-year mark, or by 2047, the government intends to achieve energy independence.
  • The Indian government has already begun its journey toward green hydrogen as green power becomes increasingly important on a global scale.
  • The key is alternative energy sources, from renewable power to hydrogen and switching to electric vehicles from current petrol and diesel-run automobiles, for a country that is 85% dependent on imports to meet its oil needs and 50% dependent on imports to meet its gas requirements.
  • After the US, Brazil, the EU, and China, India is the fifth-largest producer of ethanol in the world. The majority of ethanol used worldwide is for human consumption, but countries like Brazil and India also add it to gasoline.
  • For energy independence, we must advance all current initiatives, including solar energy, Mission Hydrogen, adoption, and electric vehicles (EVs).
  • A green and sustainable economy is built on initiatives to increase self-reliance through green energy. Initiatives related to green energy emphasize the accessibility of clean energy to all people and businesses.

Which accomplishments has the government made in the energy sector?

  • Prior to the original deadline of November 2022, the goal of supplying gasoline blended with 10% ethanol (10% ethanol, 90% gasoline) was accomplished in June 2022.
    • The government was encouraged by the achievement and pushed back its goal of 2025 for the introduction of 20% ethanol in gasoline.
  • 2.82 crore households have been electrified as of March 2021 as a result of the Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana, or "Saubhagya."
  • The country will have more than 36.86 billion LED bulbs, 72.18 lakh LED tube lights, and 23.59 lakh energy-efficient fans installed by June 2022, saving 48,411 million kWh annually and saving Rs. 19,332 crores in costs.
  • Under the National Smart Grid Mission (NSGM), over 44 lakh smart meters have been installed as of June 2022, and an additional 67 lakh will be installed.
  • The cost of solar energy has decreased in India from Rs. 7.36/kWh (US 10 cents/kWh) in FY15 to Rs. 2.45/kWh (US 3.2 cents/kWh) in July 2021.
  • India's position on the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business - "Getting Electricity" ranking increased from 137 to 22 in 2019 from 2014.

What programs are in place to help the energy sector become self-sufficient?

 

  • Gas-Based Economy:- The country's economic recovery will be fueled by increased natural gas production, transportation, and consumption because it will keep manufacturing domestic, which will increase employment and lower fuel costs, which will lower the cost of goods.
  • Ethanol is a type of anhydrous ethyl alcohol with the chemical formula C2H5OH. It can be produced from starchy plants like sugarcane, maize, and wheat. The fermentation process is the main method used in India to create ethanol from sugarcane molasses. You can create various blends by combining ethanol and gasoline.
  • Prime Minister Ujjwala Yojna:- The Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, which will give 50 million LPG connections to women from families living below the poverty line (BPL), was announced by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 1.
  • Renewable Energy Initiatives:- India took many initiatives for renewable energy due to which the “SOLAR CAPACITY INCREASED IN THE LAST 7.5 YEARS FROM AROUND 2.6 GW TO MORE THAN 46 GW”.
  • National Hydrogen Mission:- As it stands, the National Hydrogen Energy Mission's goal is to outline the vision, purpose, and strategy for the Indian government's use of hydrogen energy. The objective is to make India a significant global production hub for fuel cell and hydrogen technology.

 

Way Forward

  • To meet the nation's rising energy needs, India must utilize solar, wind, and particularly green hydrogen energy in its electricity system.
  • To ensure inclusivity in the development process, the national and regional levels of the aforementioned factors—investment, infrastructure development, private-public partnerships, green financing, and policy framework—need to be strengthened.
  • In addition to fostering sustainable development, green energy has enormous potential to increase earnings, employment, and entrepreneurship.
  • The creation of new markets for goods and services as well as the creation of jobs and income also creates investment opportunities. India should therefore concentrate on achieving both green energy and energy sector self-sufficiency at the same time.

Source: PID