New Delhi: In the run-up to of the first major event in India’s G20 Presidency calendar, India Energy Week, Indian Oil Chairman SM Vaidya spoke to PSU Watch about his company’s plans for the big event which seeks to bring together industry leaders and policymakers from both conventional and non-conventional energy sectors. Indian Oil is taking a lead in helping the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas organise the event.
Vaidya said that the event aims to showcase India as a global powerhouse, leading efforts to solve the pressing trilemma of affordability, security and sustainability in the energy sector. He also said that India, with its unique population and demographic dynamics, must chart its own energy transition plan.
Here are excerpts:
Q. What are you looking forward to the most at India Energy Week?
A. As India’s flagship, largest and all-encompassing energy event, India Energy Week (IEW) aims to showcase India as a global powerhouse in the energy industry leading efforts to solve the pressing energy trilemma – Affordability, Security, Sustainability. India is leading the transition through the areas of biofuels, solar energy, gas-based economy, green hydrogen, even as we take transformative steps to increase domestic exploration and production of traditional hydrocarbons. IEW aims to facilitate discussions for India’s energy transition and roadmap to net zero by 2070. The conference also aims to connect the international energy community together to discuss trends, address challenges and collaborate for upcoming opportunities.
Q. What does your company plan to showcase?
A. “Strengthening The Green Resolve.” This year, Indian Oil will be immersing in new green opportunities and shall explore the power of collaborations to demonstrate its focus on the global stage. Indian Oil has declared its commitment to reach the Net Zero Operational milestone by 2046. It was a watershed moment in Indian Oil’s journey of excellence. The global transition towards a cleaner, greener and healthier tomorrow rests on the able shoulders of the energy industry. As the industry leader, Indian Oil must power India’s Net zero goal by 2070. And it is a matter of pride that Indian Oil is one of the few corporates working with a definitive action plan for achieving net zero commitments.
India Energy Week (IEW) aims to showcase India as a global powerhouse in the energy industry leading efforts to solve the pressing energy trilemma – Affordability, Security, Sustainability
Q. What do you think should be India’s trajectory for energy transition?
A. I believe, with energy transition really gathering steam now, the next five years for the energy sector will be crucial in terms of laying the foundation for the new energy order and also for ensuring that the transition is smooth and orderly, which, in turn, may require a balancing of our enthusiasm for green energy with the reliability of the old order. Given the magnitude of incremental energy needed in addition to existing needs, the dovetailing of new greener energy options in the sheer scale and scope is needed to offer sustainable options for the switch-over. This would be a real challenge in India. There will be a continuity of energy consumption pattern but also a profound change as we integrate renewables more intensely in our energy mix.
This demand profile offers numerous possibilities with a broader basket that has diverse forms like coal, oil, and natural gas coexisting with bioenergy and renewables
Our energy agenda in India is inclusive, market-based, and climate-sensitive. To meet the rapid growth of our energy needs, we have been working on a mission mode. So, downstream players must diversify into cleaner energy forms, which present high growth opportunities areas and downward integration into petrochemicals, which would drive long-term global oil demand.
While in India, we plan to increase our refining capacities to meet the growing demand, we are aware of the slowdown in the growth rate of transportation fuel demand that is expected in a decade or two. Hence, petrochemical integration is the way forward for all our refinery investments. The high demand growth trajectory for Indian petrochemicals, coupled with the high and growing imports of petrochemicals, further strengthen the case for this in the Indian context.
I strongly believe, India, with its unique population and demographic dynamics, must chart its own energy transition blueprint. This demand profile offers numerous possibilities with a broader basket that has diverse forms like coal, oil, and natural gas coexisting with bioenergy and renewables. Each energy form has its role cut out for fuelling the emergent nation which is the world’s third-largest consumer of oil. Harnessing renewable energy resources is a part of India’s vision to achieve social equity and energy transition with energy security, a more robust economy, and climate change mitigation.
Q. This is the first event of its kind that is bringing together conventional and unconventional energy companies on the same platform. How do you think this event will help in building synergy between these two forms of energy?
A. India Energy Week is set to be a marquee event for India’s energy transition journey. India’s strong position in the global energy markets makes it essential to attain the net zero target by 2070. The government is fully committed to attaining this target and has plans for significant investments in diverse energy sources across the value chains. Policies for emission reduction and mitigation pathways such as biofuels, renewables, gas-based economy, coal gasification, electric mobility, green hydrogen, among others, have been rolled out and are being implemented across all economic sectors of the country.
While these efforts are continually resulting in a smooth progression towards the net zero goal, therein lies abundant opportunities for Indian and global investors to untap the evolving energy market in India.
IEW will provide an unparalleled platform for Indian and global policymakers, business leaders and energy professionals to learn deliberate, discover and collaborate on business prospects for the promises that the Indian energy market holds for a prosperous future.
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