Energy policy of India | Wikipedia audio article

Energy policy of India | Wikipedia audio article


The energy policy of India is largely defined
by the country’s expanding energy deficit and increased focus on developing alternative
sources of energy, particularly nuclear, solar and wind energy. India ranks 81 position in
overall energy self-sufficiency at 66% in 2014.The primary energy consumption in India
is the third biggest after China and USA with 5.6% global share in 2017. The total primary
energy consumption from crude oil (221.1 Mtoe; 29.34%), natural gas (46.6 Mtoe; 6.18%), coal
(424 Mtoe; 56.26%), nuclear energy (8.7 Mtoe; 1.15%), hydro electricity (30.7 Mtoe; 4.07%)
and renewable power (21.8 Mtoe; 2.89%) is 753.7 Mtoe (excluding traditional biomass
use) in the calendar year 2017. In 2017, India’s net imports are nearly 198.8 million tons
of crude oil and its products, 25.7 Mtoe of LNG and 129.8 Mtoe coal totaling to 354.3
Mtoe of primary energy which is equal to 47% of total primary energy consumption. About
75% of India’s electricity generation is from fossil fuels. India is surplus in electricity
generation and also marginal exporter of electricity in 2017. India is largely dependent on fossil
fuel imports to meet its energy demands – by 2030, India’s dependence on energy imports
is expected to exceed 53% of the country’s total energy consumption. In 2009-10, the
country imported 159.26 million tonnes of crude oil which amounts to 80% of its domestic
crude oil consumption and 31% of the country’s total imports are oil imports. By the end
of calendar year 2015, India has become a power surplus country with huge power generation
capacity idling for want of electricity demand. India ranks second after China in renewables
production with 208.7 Mtoe in 2016.In 2015-16, the per-capita energy consumption is 22.042
Giga Joules (0.527 Mtoe ) excluding traditional biomass use and the energy intensity of the
Indian economy is 0.271 Mega Joules per INR (65 kcal/INR). Due to rapid economic expansion,
India has one of the world’s fastest growing energy markets and is expected to be the second-largest
contributor to the increase in global energy demand by 2035, accounting for 18% of the
rise in global energy consumption. Given India’s growing energy demands and limited domestic
oil and gas reserves, the country has ambitious plans to expand its renewable and most worked
out nuclear power programme. India has the world’s fourth largest wind power market and
also plans to add about 100,000 MW of solar power capacity by 2020. India also envisages
to increase the contribution of nuclear power to overall electricity generation capacity
from 4.2% to 9% within 25 years. The country has five nuclear reactors under construction
(third highest in the world) and plans to construct 18 additional nuclear reactors (second
highest in the world) by 2025.Indian solar power PV tariff has fallen to ₹2.44 (3.4¢
US) per kWh in May 2017 which is lower than any other type of power generation in India.
In the year 2016, the levelized tariff in US$ for solar PV electricity has fallen below
2.42 cents/kWh. Also the international tariff of solar thermal storage power plants has
fallen to US$6.3 cents/kWh which is cheaper than fossil fuel plants. The cheaper hybrid
solar power (mix of solar PV and solar thermal storage power) need not depend on costly and
polluting coal/gas fired power generation for ensuring stable grid operation. Solar
electricity price is going to become the benchmark price for deciding the other fuel prices (petroleum
products, natural gas/biogas/LNG, CNG, LPG, coal, lignite, biomass, etc.) based on their
ultimate use and advantages.==Oil and gas==India ranks third in oil consumption with
212.7 million tons in 2016 after USA and China. During the calendar year 2015, India imported
195.1 million tons crude oil and 23.3 million tons refined petroleum products and exported
55 million tons refined petroleum products. India has built surplus world class refining
capacity using imported crude oil for exporting refined petroleum products. The net imports
of crude oil is lesser by one fourth after accounting exports and imports of refined
petroleum products. Natural gas production was 29.2 billion cubic meters and consumption
50.6 billion cubic meters during the calendar year 2015.
During the financial year 2012–13, the production of crude oil is 37.86 million tons and 40,679
million standard cubic meters (nearly 26.85 million tons) natural gas. The net import
of crude oil & petroleum products is 146.70 million tons worth of Rs 5611.40 billions.
This includes 9.534 million tons of LNG imports worth of Rs. 282.15 billions. Internationally,
LNG price (One mmBtu of LNG=0.1724 barrels of crude oil (boe)=24.36 cubic meters of
natural gas=29.2 litres diesel=21.3 kg LPG) is fixed below crude oil price in terms
of heating value. LNG is slowly gaining its role as direct use fuel in road and marine
transport without regasification. By the end of June 2016, LNG price has fallen by nearly
50% below its oil parity price making it more economical fuel than diesel/gas oil in transport
sector. In 2012-13, India consumed 15.744 million tons petrol and 69.179 million tons
diesel which are mainly produced from imported crude oil at huge foreign exchange out go.
Use of natural gas for heating, cooking and electricity generation is not economical as
more and more locally produced natural gas will be converted into LNG for use in transport
sector to reduce crude oil imports. In addition to the conventional natural gas production,
coal gasification, coal bed methane, coal mine methane and Biogas digesters / Renewable
natural gas will also become source of LNG forming decentralised base for production
of LNG to cater to the widely distributed demand. There is possibility to convert most
of the heavy duty vehicles (including diesel driven rail engines) into LNG fuelled vehicles
to reduce diesel consumption drastically with operational cost and least pollution benefits.
Also, the break even price at user end for switching from imported coal to LNG in electricity
generation is estimated near 6 US$/mmBtu. The advent of cheaper marine CNG transport
will restrict LNG use in high end transport sector to replace costly liquid fuels leaving
imported CNG use for other needs. As the marine CNG transport is economical for medium distance
transport and has fast unloading flexibility at many ports without costly unloading facilities,
they have become alternate solution to submarine gas pipelines.The state-owned Oil and Natural
Gas Corporation (ONGC) acquired shares in oil fields in countries like Sudan, Syria,
Iran, and Nigeria – investments that have led to diplomatic tensions with the United
States. Because of political instability in the Middle East and increasing domestic demand
for energy, India is keen on decreasing its dependency on OPEC to meet its oil demand,
and increasing its energy security. Several Indian oil companies, primarily led by ONGC
and Reliance Industries, have started a massive hunt for oil in several regions in India,
including Rajasthan, Krishna Godavari Basin and north-eastern Himalayas.India has nearly
63 tcf technically recoverable resources of shale gas which can meet all its needs for
twenty years if exploited. India is developing an offshore gas field in Mozambique. The proposed
Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline is a part of India’s plan to meet its increasing energy
demand.==Coal==India has the world’s 4th largest coal reserves.
In India, coal is the bulk of primary energy contributor with 56.90% share equivalent to
411.9 Mtoe in 2016. India is the third top coal producer in 2013 with 7.6% production
share of coal (including lignite) in the world. Top five hard and brown coal producing countries
in 2013 (2012) are (million tons): China 3,680 (3,645), United States 893 (922), India 605
(607), Australia 478 (453) and Indonesia 421 (386). However, India ranks fifth in global
coal production at 228 mtoe (5.9%) in 2013 when its inferior quality coal tonnage is
converted into tons of oil equivalent. Coal-fired power plants account for 59% of India’s installed
electricity capacity. After electricity production, coal is also used for cement production in
substantial quantity. In 2013, India imported nearly 95 Mtoe of steam coal and coking coal
which is 29% of total consumption to meet the demand in electricity, cement and steel
production. Pet coke availability, at cheaper price to local coal, is replacing coal in
cement plants.Gasification of coal or lignite or pet coke produces syngas or coal gas or
coke oven gas which is a mixture of hydrogen, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide gases.
Coal gas can be converted into synthetic natural gas (SNG) by using Fischer–Tropsch process
at low pressure and high temperature. Coal gas can also be produced by underground coal
gasification where the coal deposits are located deep in the ground or uneconomical to mine
the coal. CNG and LNG are emerging as economical alternatives to diesel oil with the escalation
in international crude oil prices. Synthetic natural gas production technologies have tremendous
scope to meet the transport sector requirements fully using the locally available coal in
India. Dankuni coal complex is producing syngas which is piped to the industrial users in
Calcutta. Many coal based fertiliser plants which are shut down can also be retrofitted
economically to produce SNG as LNG and CNG fetch good price by substituting imports.
Recently, Indian government fixed the natural gas price at producer end as 5.61 US$ per
mmbtu on net calorific value (NCV) basis which is at par with the estimated SNG price from
coal.==Bio-fuels==Gasification of bio mass yields wood gas or
syngas which can be converted into substitute natural gas by Methanation. Nearly 750 million
tons of non edible (by cattle) biomass is available annually in India which can be put
to higher value addition use and substitute imported crude oil, coal, LNG, urea fertiliser,
nuclear fuels, etc. It is estimated that renewable and carbon neutral biomass resources of India
can replace present consumption of all fossil fuels when used productively.Huge quantity
of imported coal is being used in pulverised coal-fired power stations. Raw biomass can
not be used in the pulverised coal mills as they are difficult to grind into fine powder
due to caking property of raw biomass. However biomass can be used after Torrefaction in
the pulverised coal mills for replacing imported coal. North west and southern regions can
replace imported coal use with torrefied biomass where surplus agriculture/crop residual biomass
is available. Biomass power plants can also get extra income by selling the Renewable
Purchase Certificates (RPC).In cement production, carbon neutral biomass is being used to replace
coal for reducing carbon foot print drastically.Biogas or natural gas or methane produced from farm/agro/crop/domestic
waste can also be used for producing protein rich feed for cattle/fish/poultry/pet animals
economically by cultivating Methylococcus capsulatus bacteria culture in a decentralised
manner near to the rural / consumption areas with tiny land and water foot print. With
the availability of CO2 gas as by product from these units, cheaper production cost
of algae oil from algae or spirulina particularly in tropical countries like India would displace
the prime position of crude oil in near future.India’s three Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) are currently
setting up 12 second-generation ethanol plants across the country which will collect agriculture
waste from farmers and convert it into bio-ethanol.The former President of India, Dr. A. P. J. Abdul
Kalam, was a strong advocaters of Jatropha cultivation for production of bio-diesel.
He said that out of the 6,00,000 km² of waste land that is available in India over 3,00,000
km² is suitable for Jatropha cultivation. Once the plant is grown, it has a useful lifespan
of several decades. During its life Jatropha requires very little water when compared to
other cash crops. A plan for supplying incentives to encourage the use of Jatropha has been
coloured with green stripes.==Nuclear power==India boasts a quickly advancing and active
nuclear power programme. It is expected to have 20 GW of nuclear capacity by 2020, though
it currently stands as 9th in the world in terms of nuclear capacity.
An Achilles’ heel of the Indian nuclear power programme, however, is the fact that India
is not a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. This has many times in its history
prevented it from obtaining nuclear technology vital to expanding its nuclear industry. Another
consequence of this is that much of its programme has been domestically developed much like
its nuclear weapons programme. The United States-India Peaceful Atomic Energy Cooperation
Act seems to be a way to get access to advanced nuclear technologies for India. India has been using imported enriched uranium
and is under International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards, but it has developed various
aspects of the nuclear fuel cycle to support its reactors. Development of select technologies
has been strongly affected by limited imports. Use of heavy-water reactors has been particularly
attractive for the nation because it allows uranium to be burnt with little to no enrichment.
India has also done a great amount of work in the development of a thorium-centred fuel
cycle. While uranium deposits in the nation are extremely limited, there are much greater
reserves of thorium, and it could provide hundreds of times the energy with the same
mass of fuel. The fact that thorium can theoretically be utilised in heavy water reactors has tied
the development of the two. A prototype reactor that would burn uranium-plutonium fuel while
irradiating a thorium blanket is under construction at the Madras/Kalpakkam Atomic Power Station.
Uranium used for the weapons programme has been separate from the power programme using
uranium from scant indigenous reserves.==Hydro electricity==India is endowed with economically exploitable
and viable hydro potential assessed to be about 125,570 MW at 60% capacity factor. India
ranked fourth globally by underutilized hydro power potential. In addition, 6,780 MW in
terms of installed capacity from Small, Mini, and Micro Hydel schemes have been assessed.
Also, 56 sites for pumped storage schemes with an aggregate installed capacity of 94,000
MW have been identified for catering to peak electricity demand and water pumping for irrigation
needs. It is the most widely used form of renewable energy but the economically exploitable
hydro power potential keeps on varying due to technological developments and the comparable
cost of electricity generation from other sources. The hydro-electric potential of India
ranks 5th in terms of exploitable hydro-potential on global scenario.
The installed capacity of hydro power is 45,315 MW as of 31 May 2018. India ranks sixth in
hydro electricity generation globally after China, Canada, Brazil, USA and Russia. During
the year 2017-18, the total hydro electricity generation in India is 126.123 billion kWh
which works out to 24,000 MW at 60% capacity factor. Till now, hydroelectricity sector
is dominated by the state and central government owned companies but this sector is going to
grow faster with the participation of private sector for developing the hydro potential
located in the Himalaya mountain ranges including north east of India. However the hydro power
potential in central India forming part of Godavari, Mahanadi and Narmada river basins
has not yet been developed on major scale due to potential opposition from the tribal
population. Pumped storage schemes are perfect centralised
peaking power stations for the load management in the electricity grid. Pumped storage schemes
would be in high demand for meeting peak load demand and storing the surplus electricity
as India graduates from electricity deficit to electricity surplus. They also produce
secondary /seasonal power at no additional cost when rivers are flooding with excess
water. Storing electricity by other alternative systems such as batteries, compressed air
storage systems, etc. is more costlier than electricity production by standby generator.
India has already established nearly 6800 MW pumped storage capacity which is part of
its installed hydro power plants.==Wind power==India has the fourth largest installed wind
power capacity in the world. As of 31 December 2017, the installed capacity of wind power
was 32,848 MW an increase of 4148 MW over the previous year Wind power accounts nearly
10% of India’s total installed power generation capacity and generated 52.666 billion kWh
in the fiscal year 2017-18 which is nearly 3% of total electricity generation. The capacity
utilisation factor is nearly 16% in the fiscal year 2017-18. The Ministry of New and Renewable
Energy (MNRE) of India has announced a revised estimation of the potential wind power resource
(excluding offshore wind power potential) from 49,130 MW assessed at 50m Hub heights
to 102,788 MW assessed at 80m Hub height at 15% capacity factor.==Solar energy==India’s solar energy insolation is about 5,000
T kWh per year (i.e. ~ 600 TW), far more than its current total primary energy consumption.
India’s long-term solar potential could be unparalleled in the world because it has the
ideal combination of both high solar insolation and a big potential consumer base density.
With a major section of its citizens still surviving off-grid, India’s grid system is
considerably under-developed. Availability of cheap solar can bring electricity to people,
and bypass the need of installation of expensive grid lines.
Also a major factor influencing a region’s energy intensity is the cost of energy consumed
for temperature control. Since cooling load requirements are roughly in phase with the
sun’s intensity, cooling from intense solar radiation could make perfect energy-economic
sense in the subcontinent, whenever the required technology becomes competitively cheaper.
Installation of solar power PV plants require nearly 2.0 hectares (5 acres) land per MW
capacity which is similar to coal-fired power plants when life cycle coal mining, consumptive
water storage & ash disposal areas are also accounted and hydro power plants when submergence
area of water reservoir is also accounted. 1.6 million MW capacity solar plants can be
installed in India on its 1% land (32,000 square km). There are vast tracts of land
suitable for solar power in all parts of India exceeding 8% of its total area which are unproductive
barren and devoid of vegetation. Part of waste lands (32,000 square km) when installed with
solar power plants can produce 2400 billion kWh of electricity (two times the total generation
in 2013-14) with land productivity/yield of 0.9 million Rs per acre (3 Rs/kWh price) which
is at par with many industrial areas and many times more than the best productive irrigated
agriculture lands. Moreover, these solar power units are not dependent on supply of any raw
material and are self productive. There is unlimited scope for solar electricity to replace
all fossil fuel energy requirements (natural gas, coal, lignite and crude oil) if all the
marginally productive lands are occupied by solar power plants in future. The solar power
potential of India can meet perennially to cater per capita energy consumption at par
with USA/Japan for the peak population in its demographic transition.Solar thermal power The installed capacity of commercial solar
thermal power plants in India is 227.5 MW with 50 MW in Andhra Pradesh and 177.5 MW
in Rajasthan. Solar thermal plants are emerging as cheaper (US 6.1 ¢/kWh) and clean load
following power plants compared to fossil fuel power plants. They can cater the load/
demand perfectly and work as base load power plants when the extracted solar energy is
found excess in a day. Proper mix of solar thermal and solar PV can fully match the load
fluctuations without the need of costly battery storage.Synergy with irrigation water pumping
and hydro power stations The major disadvantage of solar power (PV
type only) is that it can not produce electricity during the night time and cloudy day time
also. In India, this disadvantage can be overcome by installing pumped-storage hydroelectricity
stations. Ultimate electricity requirement for river water pumping (excluding ground
water pumping) is 570 billion kWh to pump one cubic meter of water for each square meter
area by 125 m height on average for irrigating 140 million hectares of net sown area (42%
of total land) for three crops in a year. This is achieved by utilising all the usable
river waters by interlinking Indian rivers. These river water pumping stations would also
be envisaged with pumped-storage hydroelectricity features to generate electricity when necessary
to stabilise the grid. Also, all existing and future hydro power stations can be expanded
with additional pumped-storage hydroelectricity units to cater night time electricity consumption.
Most of the ground water pumping power can be met directly by solar power during daytime.
To achieve food security, India needs to achieve water security which is possible only by energy
security for harnessing its water resources.Electric vehicles The retail prices of petrol and diesel are
high in India to make electricity driven vehicles more economical as more and more electricity
is generated from solar energy in near future without appreciable environmental effects.
During the year 2013, many IPPs offered to sell solar power below 6.50 Rs/kWh to feed
into the low voltage (

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