ES Ranganathan explores the shift in India’s focus from the energy transition in the oil and gas sector to self-reliance

“The government has pushed to expand oil and gas exploration in the past decade to achieve a greater level of energy self-reliance by opening up “no-go areas” for exploration. The objective is to reduce dependence on imports for the majority of its energy needs,” opines ES Ranganathan.

New Delhi (India), March 11: In a pivotal moment for India’s energy landscape, ES Ranganathan, a prominent figure in the sector and the former Managing Director of IGL sheds light on the nation’s profound shift from conventional energy reliance to a self-sufficient future. “This transition, underscored by the recent interim budget’s allocation of substantial funds, marks a significant stride towards renewable energy initiatives, a departure from the traditional dominance of the oil and gas sector,” says ES Ranganathan

Over the past decade, India’s oil and gas sector has undergone significant transformations, marked by notable milestones such as heightened exploration efforts and strides towards achieving net zero emissions. The government has actively pursued the expansion of oil and gas exploration, notably by opening up previously restricted areas for exploration activities. This strategic move aims to bolster India’s energy self-sufficiency and diminish reliance on energy imports, a pivotal aspect of the nation’s energy security. Simultaneously, there has been a concerted governmental emphasis on steering the oil and gas industry towards a sustainable trajectory in line with India’s ambitious goal of attaining net zero emissions by 2070. Recognizing the sector’s substantial carbon footprint, companies within the industry have proactively set targets to achieve net-zero emissions well ahead of the designated timeline.

“In the Union Budget for the fiscal year 2024, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman earmarked a substantial allocation of Rs 35,000 crore for capital investments aimed at facilitating the energy transition and meeting net zero emission objectives, particularly targeting state-run oil marketing companies (OMCs). However, it is noteworthy that despite the allocation, the disbursement of funds to the OMCs has yet to be realized,” says Ranganathan. The interim budget’s notable allocation towards renewable energy initiatives, spanning solar, wind, and hydroelectric projects, underscores India’s commitment to embracing sustainable energy sources. Such initiatives not only align with global efforts to combat climate change but also reflect India’s determination to reduce dependency on fossil fuels and embrace cleaner alternatives.

Among these alternatives, green hydrogen emerges as a beacon of promise a clean and sustainable fuel with immense potential to revolutionize India’s energy landscape. Recognizing its significance, policymakers are increasingly investing in research and development, aiming to unlock the full potential of this renewable resource. By harnessing green hydrogen, India not only mitigates environmental degradation but also bolsters its energy security by reducing reliance on imported fuels.

“In parallel, there is a renewed emphasis on supporting domestic oil and gas production. While the transition towards renewables is crucial, acknowledging the existing infrastructure and expertise in the oil and gas sector remains imperative. By fostering domestic production, India endeavors to strike a balance between sustainability and energy security, leveraging its natural resources while simultaneously embracing cleaner alternatives,” mentions ES Ranganathan. Integral to this transformation is the integration of digital technologies across the energy spectrum. From exploration and production to distribution and consumption, digitalization promises to enhance efficiency, optimize resource utilization, and streamline operations. By embracing technologies like artificial intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT), and blockchain, India not only modernizes its energy infrastructure but also paves the way for a more resilient and sustainable future.

In conclusion, ES Ranganathan insights shed light on India’s evolving energy narrative“A narrative defined by ambition, innovation, and a steadfast commitment to self-reliance.” As the nation navigates this transformative journey, guided by renewable energy ambitions, support for domestic production, and digital integration, it paves the way for a brighter, cleaner, and more sustainable future. In embracing these shifts, India not only secures its energy independence but also emerges as a global leader in the pursuit of a greener tomorrow.

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