India is the third-largest contributor of greenhouse gases emissions after the US and China. The impact of these harmful emissions is being felt all over the world. The ice in the Northern and Southern poles are melting faster than ever before. The effects of these emissions are being felt enormously and it has only led us to question our ways of survival. It has become essential to develop methods to keep the emissions in check. Sustainable development is, therefore, an important concept that has influenced the policy decisions of our government. If we keep exploiting our energy resources at this level, we might exhaust them for our future generations and glimpses of this are already being seen in many cases. (Tandon, 2020)
With regard to this, India had already submitted its action plan and promised to reduce its emissions in the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions, INDC before the Paris conference in December 2015. 130 countries including India had submitted their action plans in the official languages for which they were to be held accountable. (Sinha, 2015)
What is the One Nation One Grid Gas Project?
The Narendra Modi government has strongly focussed on creating a self-sufficient economy for India- Atmanirbhar Bharat. The one nation one grid gas project is another important attempt of the government to take a step closer towards Atmanirbhar Bharat. The government has planned to expand the national gas pipeline network from 16500km to 27000km. The government is aiming to increase the share of natural gas to 15 percent in the primary energy basket by 2030. The current share of natural gas in the primary energy basket is 6.2 percent which is considerably a low amount considering the demand for energy fuel in the country. (One Nation One Gas Grid: Betting Big on Infrastructural Development, 2021)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has introduced a 450km natural gas pipeline in Kochi-Mangalore as a step towards making India self-reliant. The 450km gas pipeline cost INR 3000cr. The power and energy sector infrastructure is due to an upliftment for decades together. This initiative can lead to a positive impact on the economic development of the nation and cater to the ever-rising demand for the energy and power generation sector. It is also looked upon as an important step towards improving the standard of living of the people along with reducing their expenses. The gas pipeline network will provide eco-friendly Piped Natural Gas (PNG) to the households. This has the potential to improve the energy infrastructure by manifolds within a few years. (One Nation One Gas Grid: Betting Big on Infrastructural Development, 2021)
Need for the One Nation One Gas Grid Project
The most important aspect to put into perspective is that India is one of the highest emitters of greenhouse gases in the world. It is therefore high time to realise the impact it has on the world’s environment and the disaster that it could create if not worked upon at the right time. There has already been a delay in understanding and taking a step towards correcting our ways. But nevertheless, the one nation one grid gas is perhaps a very positive step taken by the government to help shift India towards a more sustainable choice.
Secondly, India’s growing population demands a better energy infrastructure to deal with the simultaneously growing demand for natural gas at a reasonable rate. The one nation one grid gas project is therefore needed to supply energy produced from natural gas via a single source. It is important to connect the different regions of the country with a single source of energy. Third, the transition towards completely clean energy or solar energy country is one that will take time and the one nation one gas grid can act as a transition fuel towards clean energy. Thus, if the one nation one grid gas project turns out to be a success, there will be only one power frequency across the nation. (RSTV: THE BIG PICTURE- ONE NATION, ONE GAS GRID, 2021)
One Nation One Grid Gas – India’s Renewable Energy Journey
The Minister of Petroleum and Natural gas and Steel, Mr Dharmendra Pradhan had called for foreign investors and developers to invest in India’s renewable energy sector. In his speech at the third RE-INVEST conference, he talked about how India is now one of the most favoured destinations to invest in the renewable energy sector and that the sector has seen an interesting turn of events. According to an official statement issued by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, India has seen an investment of over USD 64 billion in the last 6 years. (ANI, 2020)
The Union Minister also mentioned that India has a very liberal policy for FDI when it comes to renewables. The investors can invest on their own or enter into joint ventures for technical or financial collaborations. The ease of doing business was also brought up and was mentioned that safeguarding investments was a top priority. Adequate measures are being taken to safeguard the businesses that are affected due to the covid-19. (ANI, 2020)
Minister Pradhan also said that India is going through a transformative change and that the nation’s energy agenda is climate-sensitive and market-based. It was also mentioned that the vast natural gas pipeline network will open a vast range of opportunities in terms of investment and employment. He called for participants to look into investment opportunities in the Compressed Biogas initiative. (ANI, 2020)
Even though the pandemic has slowed down the economic pace, India is looking forward to transforming into a sustainably rich country with equitable outcomes for every region.
Conclusion- A Way Forward
The one nation one grid gas initiative taken by the government requires rigorous maintenance of the policy regime in order to attract the right amount of investments for the sector. As complicated as the policy looks, it will only get more difficult to cater to the demand for such a huge population along with infrastructural requirements. There is also a need to educate and create awareness about natural gas among the people in order to make this project a success. The one nation one grid gas project has the potential to create large-scale employment along with a sustainable choice of living.
ANI. (2020). Pradhan invites foreign developers, investors to be part of India’s renewable energy journey. ANI.
One Nation One Gas Grid: Betting Big on Infrastructural Development. (2021). Wire and Cable India (WCI).
RSTV: THE BIG PICTURE- ONE NATION, ONE GAS GRID. (2021). Insights Editor.
Sinha, A. (2015). India promises to cut greenhouse gas emissions intensity by 2030. The Indian Express.
Tandon, T. (2020). One Nation One Grid Energy Initiative: India paves it’s way ahead. Jagran Josh.