The policy aims to improve the country’s energy security by reducing dependence on imports.
The New Energy Policy (NEP) has been finalised by government think-tank Niti Aayog and is likely to get Cabinet nod this month, sources have said.
The Niti Aayog had released the first draft of the NEP in June last year and had sent it to the Union Cabinet for its nod in October. The policy aims to improve the energy security of the country by reducing dependence on imports. As of now, India is heavily dependent on oil and gas imports. External disturbances like wars and civil unrest in different countries may disrupt imports of fuel like coal, thereby affecting the country’s fuel security.
Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, said: “Our focus is to reduce energy imports and make energy accessible to all, like fundamental rights. We are working to make energy available, affordable, and accessible.”
“There are two ways in which an efficient energy supply can promote economic growth. The first one is through competitive pricing which will be critical in developing a healthy competitive environment in the energy intensive sectors of India. The second way will be through direct influence by promoting increased domestic production,” Pradhan added.
In its draft report, the government think-tank had said that India’s energy demand is likely to soar around three times by 2040, leading to increase in overall primary energy imports. It had also made a case for a single regulator to govern India’s energy market to make “India’s economy energy ready” by 2040.
According to the draft NEP 2017, the incumbent government aims to take the energy policy forward from the 2006 Integrated Energy Policy (IEP) which was drafted by the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government. The value proposition of the NEP is to present a broad framework for the overall energy sector, taking into account the multiple technology and fuel options.
A senior official of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas said: “In the draft NEP, the Niti Aayog has recommended many revolutionary reforms, such as opening up of the entire power sector value chain to private investments in order to create an efficient electricity market. These recommendations are going to prove a game-changer in the future.”
“Also, the NEP makes revolutionary recommendations on how India should work towards developing and acquiring technology needed to sustain the energy sector in the future,” the same official cited above said.