How would India grow towards a gas-based economy?


Recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said that the country would turn into a gas-based economy in the coming years. This was stated by the Prime Minister keeping the foundation stone of City Gas Distribution Project in 65 geographical areas of 129 districts under the ninth round of urban gas distribution (CGD) bidding. At first glance, it looks like changing the reality of a dream. This is because the cost of energy in the gas-based economy is very low and it is also eco-friendly.

What is the situation at the moment?

  • In order to move forward in the direction of a gas-based economy, the Government of India is giving special emphasis on promoting the use of environmentally friendly clean fuel ie natural gas as fuel throughout the country.
  • At present, the share of gas in the country’s energy mix is ​​6.2 percent. At present, about 45 million tons of natural gas is used in the country.
  • The target is to reach the level of 15 percent by 2020. In this case the global average is 24 percent.
  • In India, natural gas is best used in Gujarat, because there is better availability of its availability and distribution.
  • Natural gas share 25 percent in total consumption of energy in Gujarat.

Why not just natural gas?

natural gas

Increasing economic activities in the country has raised the demand for fuel and energy a lot. Attention to clean energy in attempts to meet this growing demand of energy is also important. The environment can also grow without causing much damage to the environment. In this case, the maximum use of natural gas for energy needs is very important. Natural gas is a better fuel than coal and other liquid fuels because it is environmentally friendly, safe and economical. Natural gas is supplied in the same way through pipelines, such as a person gets water through the tap. This does not require cylinders or any other type of storage tanks and thus the remaining space can be used for other purposes.

Independent Transport System Operator & Gas Trading Exchange

An Independent Transport System Operator has also been built to pay attention to gas prices and to operate the gas grid. Along with this, work is on to create a Gas Trading Exchange in the country to create an environment of free gas market and maintain transparency in this sector.

Low emission

Natural gas is a better fuel than coal and other liquid fuels because it is eco-friendly, safe and cheap fuel. In the cities of our country, having more of the Suspended Particulate Matter is a big environmental problem. Because of this air pollution reaches the deadly level. But one of the major advantages of natural gas based fuel is that the particulate emissions of Particulate Matter (PM) are much less.

At all times beneficial

  • Increasing access to natural gas to households will not work, as well as ensuring access to the country’s automobile sector and small and medium enterprises. Only natural gas will be able to increase the social level of the people of the country.
  • An economic advantage of natural gas compared to other conventional fuels is that it is 40% cheaper than LPG.
  • CNG is considered a better alternative to petrol and diesel. It is 60 percent cheaper than petrol and 45 percent less expensive than diesel.
  • This energy source, which means natural gas savings, can be used in useful areas such as education of children. This can speed up socio-economic development.
  • It can be clearly perceived in the cities of the country where natural gas is available for the common man for the last 10 years.

Government’s efforts

The government is trying to create a transparent and market friendly gas business system in the country. There is a lot of fluctuations in gas prices, so it is necessary to create a transparent system for the marketing of gas.
Efforts are being made to increase the production of gas in the country through policy reforms. In order to emphasize clean fuel, gas import contracts are being renewed and Bio CNG is being encouraged.

Without expanding and production will not work

As of November 2018, there were 1491 CNG stations in the country, 46,40,998 domestic, 27,097 commercial and 8278 industrial connections. If you are actually moving towards gas-based economy, surely this situation is similar to cumin in the mouth of the camel. Has the ability to be present at present. In addition, 11,216 km The pipeline is under construction.
Natural gas is either produced locally or imported in the form of LNG. Its production in India is in Assam, Bombay High, Krishna-Godavari basin and Kaveri basin. Apart from this, there are four LNG import terminals in the country – Dahej and Hazira in Gujarat, Dabhol in Maharashtra and Kochi in Kerala The total capacity of all these is 26.7 million tonnes standard cubic meters per annum. Apart from these, two other LNG terminals in Dhamra of Ennore and Odisha in Tamil Nadu are under construction.

Increasing consumption and low production

Energy consumption in India is growing at a rate of 4.2 per cent per annum, which is the highest in the world’s major economies. In such a situation, adequate availability has to be ensured at its affordable prices before moving towards a gas-based economy. At present, it is not available and many gas-based power plants in the country are locked due to lack of sufficient quantity of gas or they can not produce their full potential. It is clear that till the supply is not extended, the infrastructure built till the end is useless for years. The supply of natural gas can be ensured by increasing the production or importation. 

Increasing demand

India is the third largest energy consumer in the world today. Global demand is most likely to grow in India. Presently, India’s oil and gas demand is 22.9 million metric tonnes, which is likely to increase to 2040 by about three times to 60.7 million metric tonnes. In such a scenario, there is enough investment in the upstream oil and gas sector in the country.

It’s not that easy, way to go a long way

India’s per capita consumption of gas is only 7 percent of the world average, which is equivalent to 0.42 tonne of oil. Presently, there are total installed capacity of 24,842 MW of natural gas based electricity in the country, in which the lack of availability of more than half of the natural gas is inactive. Despite making lakhs of efforts on one hand, where the production of gas is not growing, its demand is increasing at a rate of 4.5 percent. It can be said that there is still a long way to go for a change in the country’s economy to a gas-based economy.

Source: Hindu Business Line, PIB

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