Though the Economic Survey shifted its approach, it doesn’t provide a roadmap to guide the energy sector.
This article is part of the series Comprehensive Energy Monitor: India and the World
The use of real-time data is critical in the “agile” approach and in this context, energy-related indicators such as electricity production and mobility data are amongst the many real-time indicators that the survey presents.
State-owned coal companies are expected to bring an additional 30,000 Ha of land under green cover by planting 75 million trees by 2030 and possibly also invest in over 5560 MW of RE capacity.In the context of petroleum, the survey rightly observes that high international crude oil prices and high taxes on petroleum products contributed significantly to inflation. But the rest of the discussion on the petroleum sector is devoted mostly to the celebration of schemes such as “Ujjwala Yojana” rather than to critical issues such as the impact of high oil prices on the Indian economy. Ujjwala Yojana offered free or subsidised liquid petroleum gas (LPG) connections to poor households mostly in poll bound Northern states. As poor households are not able to sustain use of LPG by purchasing unsubsidised refills has meant that ujjwala yojana is more effective as a means to influence electoral outcomes rather than transform energy outcomes. The survey reiterates the widely reported claim that LPG coverage is 99.8 percent. The source of this information is the PPAC (petroleum planning and analysis cell) that acknowledges that the methodology used for calculating LPG coverage is under review. The methodology only involves estimating the number of current households by extrapolating the number of households, according to Census 2011. Adjusting the extrapolated number of households to the number of domestic connections can give the desired LPG coverage. Going by the data in the survey, only 0.2 percent of households (or just over 65,000 assuming that the number of households is about 33 million) do not have access to LPG. If so, the release of an additional 10 million LPG connections under Ujjwala 2.0 would mean multiple LPG connections in many households. The survey observes that there is no subsidy for domestic connections since 2020 but confusingly qualifies the statement with “in the Delhi market” in the parenthesis. The survey highlights the opening of up to 100 percent foreign direct investment in the petroleum and natural gas sector in July 2021 suggesting the possibility of divestments in the sector. In the natural gas segment, the survey states that consistent progress in increasing the reach of the national gas grid could potentially assist in achieving uniform economic and social progress.
The methodology only involves estimating the number of current households by extrapolating the number of households, according to Census 2011.The coal stock crisis that reduced power generation resulting in blackouts in many parts of the country in late 2021 does not merit a discussion in the survey. There is little that is new in the details of capacity addition in the power sector based on traditional fuels such as coal and RE that the survey presents.
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