New Delhi: Union Minister for Power and Renewable Energy RK Singh said on Friday that the global debate on carbon emissions has to be on per capita basis and not on aggregate basis. Releasing a report titled ‘National Energy Data: Survey and Analysis 2021-22,’ which is the first report prepared by the Energy Data Management Unit, set up under the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), Ministry of Power, Singh emphasised on the importance of data and recalled that a lot of history regarding India was based on research conducted by those coming from outside, which posed problems due to insufficient expertise of such foreign researchers.
The minister said that the debate on carbon emissions has to be on per capita basis and not on aggregate basis for each country. He underlined the need for data on energy usage, such as the comparative cost of gas-based cooking and solar cooking. “Our whole objective is to reduce dependence on imported sources of energy. The way to do this is two-fold, to electrify the economy and then to green the energy,” said Singh.
The minister spoke of the need for data on green feedstock, so that we know how much green feedstock is required to make the energy transition. “The BEE needs strengthening. We also need data from other countries. Ownership of data is absolutely vital, which helps us understand and explain better,” said the minister.
The minister also said that the report will assist in analysing energy intensity of the country, thereby facilitating policy-makers to identify areas of improvement and formulate effective policies and track the country’s progress towards India’s achievement of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). “This will also guide policy decisions, influence industry practices, and empower individuals and organisations to make informed choices in their pursuit of a greener and more sustainable future,” said Singh.
Congratulating the ministry and BEE, NITI Aayog Member Dr VK Saraswat said that the significance of energy data cannot be overstated considering the ‘Panchamrit’ commitments made by India and the need for energy transition. “Data should be end-to-end, regarding production, distribution, transmission and covering all sources of energy. We cannot achieve Net Zero without a good repository of information on greenhouse gas emissions from various sources. However, the inadequate availability of robust energy datasets has affected India’s energy research, undermining policy, and regulatory compliance. To improve the same, Energy Data Management Unit has been formed in BEE under the guidance of Ministry of Power. The comprehensive report details supply and consumption data across sectors. This will help India make futuristic decisions regarding energy supply and consumption.”
The NITI Aayog Member said that the inaugural report stands as a testament to the power of data-driven insights in shaping our energy landscape. “This ground-breaking report uncovers valuable trends, highlights challenges and opportunities, and presents innovative solutions to drive sustainable energy practices. It holds the potential to revolutionise our understanding of energy consumption, production, and efficiency,” he said.
Tarun Kapoor, Advisor, Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), said that the report fulfills the need for someone who specialises in the energy sector who can get regular data updates from various ministries and departments and come out with a comprehensive report on the energy sector. Kapoor said that often, various incorrect pieces of information regarding the Indian energy sector are shared and used even by international organisations and that a government organisation coming out with such data will become the accepted and credible source of information which is also reflective of the ground situation in the country. “We have to now ensure that the data flow is regular. It will be great if this report is brought out every year,” he said.
Power Secretary Alok Kumar said that the preparation of the report was inspired by the recognition that India should have its own official energy data statistics, rather than having to depend on other organisations or having to resort to piecemeal energy statistics compiled by various ministries and departments. “The task forces formed as part of the project, one on supply-side data and another on demand-side data compiled energy data from different sources and structured the data which was in different formats. India can now have confidence in its own data in stating that our energy efficiency is better than what it was reported upon,” he said.
The Secretary said that as part of this process, the Power Ministry recommended the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation to make some modifications in its regular surveys, to collect some more important energy statistics as well. He added that based on this, BEE will now be undertaking a detailed energy survey of energy use in the commercial sector.
The Power Secretary said that the Bureau of Energy Efficiency should be strengthened, with sufficient staff and more expertise. He also said that BEE should come out with such data-driven and analytical reports for not only India, but for other countries too, especially the top countries relevant to global energy transition, so that India can engage with such countries depending on credible data. He hoped that with feedback from independent analysts, further editions of the report will further improve.
Director General, BEE Abhay Bakre stated that the future versions of the report would track investments in the energy sector (supply and demand side). He said that impact of various government schemes including incentives, subsidies would be assessed; further deep-dives to analyse sub-sectoral energy consumption patterns under the commercial sector would be undertaken; segregation of imported coal usage in various sectors would be determined; retailer data for Gasoline and CNG consumption would be refined; and data on non-commercial energy sources such as biomass would be captured.