Five Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) under the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas will join the International Solar Alliance (ISA) Coalition for Sustainable Climate Action (ISA-CSCA) as corporate partners and will add to ISA's Corpus Fund on Tuesday, said Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas.
Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan said in his inaugural speech at ISA's First World Solar Technology Summit that Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC), Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL), Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL), Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) and GAIL (India) Limited will contribute to ISA's Corpus Fund.
Pradhan said that Indian Oil & Gas companies are increasingly and rightly taking an active part in this clean energy transition, according to a press release. "These companies will rely more on green energy investments such as renewables, biofuels and hydrogen in order to minimise the carbon footprint in the future. We are also actively supporting industry in general and Oil & Gas firms, in particular, are becoming participants in this solar transformation," he said.
On the sector’s achievements so far, Pradhan said our oil & gas companies are also making efforts to deploy solar panels across the value chain of their activities, and the total solar installed capacity is 270 MW.
"Additional 60 MW solar capacity will be added in the coming year. We have taken up the mission of solarizing about 50% of fuel stations owned by Public Sector oil companies in the next five years. More than 5000 fuel stations of Indian Oil, the largest Public Sector Oil Marketing Company, were solarized last year. A substantial amount of solar PV capacity was also added by Oil & Gas companies during the last few years," the press statement read.
Oil & Gas PSUs are progressively exploring new opportunities for diversification in the solar and RE space, the minister said. French major Total has recently confirmed investments to buy some 2 GW of photovoltaic plants operating in India.
"Amid the difficulties posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, we are in the process of overhauling India's supply chains and reducing over-dependence on imports for solar modules. Under the 'Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan' or Self-Reliant India reform announced by Hon. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, our country has received proposals from different players for more than 10 GW of fresh solar equipment production," Pradhan said.
"In line with Hon'ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call to action for developing low-cost indoor solar cooking solutions, our company IOCL has tied up with M/s Sun Bucket System, a US-based start-up working in the niche area of solar energy-based products. We are encouraging Indian oil & gas companies to develop such innovative and scalable tie-ups in the solar sector, which have the potential to make a nationwide impact", he added.
Lauding the role of the ISA for making rapid strides since its launch at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris on 30 November 2015 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the then French President, Pradhan said that as the latest inter-governmental international organization with its headquarters in India, ISA is not only a testament to India's unwavering faith in multilateralism but also a commitment to a better, sustainable and greener future.
He said that the Alliance reflects the vision and the firm belief that the beneficence of the Sun could be used to bring together the peoples of this planet for a shared solution to our energy needs.
Pradhan said that there has always been a vision to make solar energy accessible and affordable for the poor by addressing the various financial and technological factors that currently impede such access.