Wed, 20 Jan 2021

New Delhi [India], November 28 (ANI): Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Steel, on Saturday invited foreign investors, developers and businesses to be a part of India's renewable energy journey.

In the valedictory address at the third RE-INVEST 2020, the Union Minister said that India is progressively becoming a favoured destination for investment in renewables as in the last six years, over USD 64 billion investment has been made in renewable energy in India, according to an official statement issued by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.

He further said that India has a very liberal FDI policy in the energy sector, including renewables.

"Foreign investors can either invest on their own or enter into joint ventures with an Indian partner for financial and/or technical collaboration for setting up of renewable energy-based power generation projects," he said.

During the meeting, the Minister assured that 'Ease of doing business' is India's utmost priority. "Our continuous focus is on maintaining the sanctity of contracts and safeguarding investments. We have established dedicated Project Development Cells (PDC) and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) cells in all Ministries for handholding and facilitating domestic and foreign investors. Adequate measures and safeguards have also been undertaken to address the concerns of businesses and investors arising out of the Covid pandemic."Pradhan said that India is in the midst of a major transformative shift in its energy sector, to end energy poverty in India. "While doing so, our twin objectives are to enhance availability and affordability of clean fossil fuels and green fuels and to reduce the carbon footprint through a healthy mix of all commercially-viable energy sources. We are consistently taking energy policy initiatives. Revamping policies, and taking needful measures. We are developing next-generation infrastructure based on five guiding key enablers of energy availability and accessibility to all, energy affordability to the poorest of the poor, efficiency in energy use, energy sustainability to combating climate change as a responsible global citizen and security for mitigating the global uncertainties," he said.

The Minister also stated that India's energy agenda is inclusive, market-based and climate-sensitive.

Pradhan highlighted several initiatives that are spearheaded by the Indian oil and gas industry to broaden the Renewable Energy canvas, and also are also offering enormous investment opportunities.

The Minister mentioned another major transformative energy initiative in the country of developing a gas-based economy leading to 'One Nation One Gas Grid'. "We have already laid over 16,800 km long gas pipeline network, and additionally 14,700 km gas pipelines are under different stages of construction. An estimated investment of 60 billion US dollars is lined up in developing gas infrastructure, which includes pipelines, city gas distribution and LNG regasification terminals. The vast gas-based infrastructure will offer enormous opportunities for integrating different sources of energy in the country. This is yet another potential area of growth with vast investment opportunities," he said.

Pradhan invited the participants to look at the investment opportunities in Compressed Bio-Gas (CBG) initiative. "We have a well-developed roadmap for SATAT (Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation), an important initiative of our government, which targets to set up 5000 compressed biogas plants with a target of 15 MMT per year with investment potential for USD 20 billion. Indian oil marketing companies are offering to private entrepreneurs assured price and offtake guarantee. The SATAT initiative is in line with the goals of AatmaNirbhar Bharat, Swachh Bharat Mission and boosting MSME sector. Reserve Bank of India has included CBG projects under Priority Sector that will help in getting the loan for CBG plant. I am glad to inform that a total of 1500 CBG plants are at various stages of execution. "The Minister said that as COVID-19 challenges the fundamental assumptions of our lives, the urgency of a green revolution in the energy sector gains greater importance. "While the immediate economic impact may slow us down, we are presented with an opportunity to pause, rethink, and design a new and faster transition to a low carbon future more aggressively.", he said.

After the event, Pradhan wrote on Twitter: "I also thank @Minas_Energia HE Mr. Bento Albuquerque, Min. of Mines and Energy, Brazil, for his address at the valedictory session of ReInvest2020. His presence demonstrates the commitment between our two countries in harnessing the full potential of biofuels." (ANI)

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