The government has decided to come up with a new national energy policy, which bears Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s stamp as it focuses on renewable energy and making India energy independent.
It will replace the Integrated Energy Policy of the UPA government adopted in 2006.
The new government believes that the UPA’s policy had failed to recognise the importance of renewable, decentralised power and upcoming energy sources like Shale gas for meeting the country’s energy needs.
The UPA’s policy document also failed to comprehensively address the issue of country’s dependence on imported fuel to meet its energy demand, official sources said.
The government estimates that the share of imported coal for generating power will increase to 30% by 2030 and that of fossil fuels will rise to 80%. “This could be a major bottleneck for sustaining economic growth. So, the focus of the new government is finding ways to encourage bio-fuels and have alternate energy sources to fossil fuels,” a senior government functionary said.
Niti Aayog vice-chairman Arvind Panagariya said that the new policy will be framed in consultation with the ministries of power, coal and could be expected in the next few months.
The man behind the UPA’s energy policy, Kirit Parikh, agreed to some extent with the new government that a lot has changed in the energy sector and said there was nothing wrong on modifying his policy.
“The concern for environment is much more than it was in 2006 and there was not much talk about the Shale gas. But, I hope that government studies the positive impact of the existing policy while framing the new one,” Parikh told HT.
The new policy will address the issue of regulatory framework for decentralised power that could be provided to 330 million Indian homes that are not connected to electricity grid as of now.
“The burning issue of 80% of rural homes using polluting biomass for cooking will also be discussed,” the functionary said.