Developed countries are no match to India in the speed at achieving their pledges for clean energy as it has concern for the environment and is working towards becoming self-reliant in the energy sector, Minister of Power and New and Renewable Energy R K Singh said in the Lok Sabha on Friday.
He made the remarks after moving the Energy Conservation (Amendment) Bill in the House for consideration. The Bill seeks to make it mandatory for buildings with a minimum connected load of 100 kW to meet their energy requirements from renewable sources. Singh said every country wants to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases to deal with climate change and global warming, which has led to a campaign towards adopting renewable or clean energy.
Participating in the debate, Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Mahua Moitra said the Bill is a step in the right direction but added that this government has an uncanny knack of ignoring what is important and concentrating on headlines.
"For example, when we should be looking at the GDP, we are being exhorted by the government to concentrate on our DPs (display pictures)," she said in an apparent swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi's appeal to people to put the tricolour as the profile picture of their social media accounts between August 2 and August 15.
"Currently, 95 per cent of the hydrogen produced is grey hydrogen, which is from natural gas, so there are technological challenges for transportation and usage. A major research and development effort is required in the green hydrogen space. It will not be easy to shift from 95 per cent grey hydrogen to green hydrogen," Moitra said.
"We have to be really serious about energy conservation and encouraging energy conservation and it is just not enough to be a government of gasbags. We have got to do more than that," she said.
Singh had introduced the Energy Conservation (Amendment) Bill in the Lok Sabha earlier this week. The Bill seeks to mandate the use of non-fossil sources, including green hydrogen, green ammonia, biomass and ethanol for energy and feedstock.
At the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP 21, India had pledged that by 2030, 40 per cent of its energy generation capacity would be met from non-fossil fuel sources such as renewable energy, the minister said, adding that this was achieved in November 2021 itself.
"We have to end our dependence on foreign imports of things like petroleum and coking coal," Singh added. He said today, the country is in a strong position in terms of power generation and connectivity and power cuts are reported not due to non-availability but because of local reasons.
Bill seeks to mandate the use of non-fossil sources, including green hydrogen and green ammonia, the minister said. The debate remained inconclusive and would be taken up later.