Q. In the effort to secure a global consensus around this target, India must first “green” its fossil fuel energy basket. This can be done by increasing the share of natural gas. Discuss.18 May, 2021 GS Paper 3 Bio-diversity & Environment
- Start the answer by briefly mentioning the context of net zero carbon emissions targets.
- Discuss how natural gas can act as a suitable transition option for India.
- Conclude suitably.
Recently, almost all countries have presented their roadmaps to reach the net zero carbon emissions targets. However, net zero emissions will not and should not happen in a flash, it will require a fair transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy.
In this context, Natural gas can act as a suitable transition fuel that can power the development while keeping it green.
Natural gas: A Suitable Transition Option For India
- Versatility & Abundance: Natural gas has multiple uses and it is the “greenest” of all fossil fuels. Also, it is abundantly available in and within the Indian subcontinent.
- Easy Transition Energy Option: Natural gas is a feasible prospect because it will not generate the headwinds due to shutting down of coal mines.
- Further, it will not require industries to invest heavily in retrofitting their systems.
- Moreover, it will allow the government to meet its objective of providing secure and affordable energy to everyone without degrading the environment.
- Excess Usage of Fossil Fuels: The average global share of fossil fuels in the energy basket is 84% which is even more for India.
- According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), India is the world's third largest consumer of oil.
- Dependence on coal and oil needs to be reduced and natural gas has to be replaced as much as possible.
Before becoming a net zero emitter, India must first “green” its fossil fuel energy basket. This can be done by increasing the share of natural gas.
Therefore, the need is to carry necessary policy reforms, cutting across all segments of the natural gas value chain from production (domestic and international) to transportation (pipeline and LNG) to markets (current and emergent) to commercial (pricing, taxation) and regulatory issues.
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