Context: Recently, Prime Minister has called for “Energy Atmanirbharta” by 2040.

India’s energy security is vulnerable to regional and global events because it relies on external sources.

Energy Security means uninterrupted availability of energy sources at an affordable price. There are different aspects of energy security such as:

1. Long Term Energy Security: It deals with timely investments to supply energy in line with economic developments and environmental needs.

2. Short-Term Energy Security: It focusses on the ability of energy system to react promptly to sudden changes in supply-demand balance.



Need of Energy Security:

India’s oil dependency on conventional source of energy is substantial, Oil (80%), Coal (10-20%), Liquified Natural gas (55%) which reflects the need of at least strategic autonomy in energy security.

Significance of Energy Security:

Any country which becomes “energy secure” is free from fluctuations of fuel commodities which are very volatile in nature. A country like India which aspires to become energy secure will help herself to achieve the status of global economic power and resilient to energy shocks.

Measures to enhance Energy security:

1. Domestic Exploration: Over-night green energy transition is nearly impossible, It would be feasible to increase domestic exploration to minimise imports to reduce Current Account Deficit.

2. Geothermal Energy:  Ambitious targets set by government reflects the potential of renewable energy sector of India. Recently, India’s state-run explorer ONGC has participated to generate Geo-Thermal energy at Puga Valley, which is situated in Changthang Valley.

  • India has around 340 Geothermal projects which has potential of generating 10,000 MW.

3. Infrastructure Development: The government should build infrastructure (EV Charging stations, creation of strategic petroleum reserves, battery storage systems) to scale up renewables and smoothen supplies.

4. Solar Energy: India’s current installed solar renewable energy stands at 48 GW and stands at 5th rank after US, China, Japan and Germany in terms of Solar Installed power capacity. Given that India is endowed with vast solar potential.

  • About 5,000 trillion kWh per year energy is incident over India's land area with most parts receiving 4-7 kWh per sq. m per day. Solar photovoltaics power can effectively be harnessed providing huge scalability in India.

Challenges to Energy Security:

  1. Regulatory hassles: Environment and regulatory clearances delays the process and leads to overrun costs.
  2.  Technological Barriers: Renewable energy technologies are still evolving in terms of technological maturity and cost-competitiveness.
  3. Land Acquisition: It is one among the major challenges in renewable power development. From the identification of potential RE (Renewable Energy) site, to clearance takes time which delays the process.
  4. Diversification: India has diversified the energy resources to Russia, Iraq, Venezuela for which India faces criticism as these countries are accused of war crimes, human rights violation.

Government Policies in this direction:

  1. Green Energy Corridor (GEC): It will facilitate renewable power evacuation and reshape grid for future requirement.
  2. Solar Park Scheme: This scheme provide solar developer with plug and play model by facilitating necessary infrastructure like land, power evacuation facilities, road connectivity along with statutory clearances.
  3. PM-KUSUM: The government aims to provide financial and water security to farmers through harnessing solar energy capacities. Of 25,750 MW by 2022.
  4. PLI Scheme: The government has launched PLI scheme to enhance the manufacturing sector for production of raw materials for renewable energy.

The government needs to ensure long term planning to ensure universal energy access and meeting its commitment under Paris Agreement to sustainable and inclusive growth.