MonitorsPublished on Mar 16, 2023
Energy News Monitor | Volume XIX, Issue 36

Quick Notes

Renewable energy in India: The demand for land


Energy transitions in the last hundred years were slow processes that were market driven. Markets, by definition, ignore negative externalities of energy production and energy use that include local pollution and emission of carbon dioxide (“carbon”).  The current global energy transition is different from earlier transitions as it is driven primarily by policy to counter market failure in limiting pollution and carbon emissions. The policy-driven energy transition has thus far focused almost exclusively on renewable energy (RE) to limit carbon emissions with electricity as the primary carrier. The highly diffused nature of RE requires elaborate installations such as solar panels and wind turbines that capture the light energy of the sun and the kinetic energy of wind and convert it into usable quantities of electricity. This means that the material and natural resource (primarily land) costs to generate one unit of electricity are substantially higher for RE compared to the generation of one unit of electricity from fossil fuels. This increased demand for land for RE projects has not been reconciled with land demand from India’s reforestation pledge in its updated nationally determined contribution (NDC).

Renewables and Land

The past energy transitions involved a substantial improvement in energy released on combustion (oxidation) and a reduction in carbon emissions on account of the increase in hydrogen content in each step forward. Starting with wood whose hydrogen to carbon ratio (H/C) was about 0.1, the market moved to coal which had a H/C ratio of 1, then to oil which had a ratio of 2 and then to natural gas which had a hydrogen to carbon ratio of 4.  The systematic increase in the H/C ratio led to the view that hydrogen was “winning” over the energy market and would eventually become the sole carrier of energy. The policy-driven transition towards RE initiated in the last two decades has, in some sense, interrupted the market-based transition with electricity as the primary energy carrier rather than hydrogen.

Each energy transition of the past also involved an increase in the gravimetric energy density (energy content per unit weight) or the volumetric energy density (energy content per unit volume) of the dominant fuel.  For example, the energy density of dry-wood was about 17 million joules per kilogram (MJ/kg) compared to 22-25 MJ/kg for coal and 42 MJ/kg for oil products. Natural gas has an energy density of 35MJ/cubic metre (m3) compared to 45 GJ (giga joules)/m3 for crude oil, almost 1000 times greater which is why transporting oil is much cheaper than transporting natural gas. Hydrogen is an energy carrier with a gravimetric energy density of 143 MJ/kg, one of the highest, but its volumetric energy density of 0.01 MJ/litre (l) compared to 33 MJ/l for jet fuel (kerosene) is more than 3000 times higher, presents challenges in using hydrogen as a fuel for aviation.

Vaclav Smil, an influential environmental scientist uses power density expressed as energy flux per unit surface (water or land) in watts per square metre (W/m2) to compare a variety of energy sources.  His detailed calculations for power density include land required for upstream operations like mining and drilling as well as land required for storage (especially coal) and downstream activities like waste disposal. Smil calculated the maximum power density of crude oil to be 65,000 W/m2 for oil extraction in oil-rich countries like Saudi Arabia and about 500 W/m2 in less well-endowed regions.  For natural gas, the power density ranges from 200 W/m2 to 2000 W/m2 and for coal from 100 W/m2 to 1000 W/m2. The power density of REsources is orders of magnitude lower at 4-10 W/m2 for solar (both photovoltaic and concentrated solar power), 0.5-1.5 W/m2 for wind and 0.5-0.6 W/m2 for biomass. While past energy transitions moved towards energy sources with higher power densities, the energy transition currently underway is an attempt to shift the global energy system towards fuels with power densities that are orders of magnitude lower. This means that the new infrastructure for a RE-based energy system would not only be much larger but also preempt any other forms of land use in India, especially land required for reforestation.


Empirical studies suggest that most of the areas favourable to solar radiation throughout the year coincide with wasteland in India. But most projections locate only 11-12 percent of solar projects in deserts and dry shrublands in India in most scenarios. Wasteland is also not favoured by project developers. Developing projects in wastelands increases costs partly because of the inhospitable terrain and partly because of the lack of supporting infrastructure. Transmission infrastructure required to move power generated to consuming centres also increases cost. But when wasteland is used, the socio-economic costs imposed on small landholders as well as the ecological costs involved in diverting agricultural land for RE projects are lower. A widely quoted figure for land required for India to meet the goal of 175 GW (gigawatts) of RE is 55,000 square kilometres (km2) to 125,000 km2 based on a power density of 2 MWp (megawatt peak)/km2 for wind projects and 26 MWp/km2 for solar photovoltaic projects. The projected area is not large as it accounts for only 1-3 percent of the total surface area of the country, but it is almost 50 to 100 percent of waste land.  Another study concludes that if 78 percent of electricity generation in India is accounted for by solar PV, and about 3 percent is derived from rooftop solar PV in 2050, the land area required would be more than 137-182 percent of urban land area in 2010 and a maximum of 2 percent of crop area in 2050. The study finds that for every 100 ha (hectare) of solar PV panels, 31 to 43 ha of unmanaged forest may be cleared throughout the world. The same amount of land for solar projects in India would clear 27 to 30 ha of unmanaged forest. If this materialises, it will go against one of the less discussed NDC pledges of India which is to create an “additional carbon sink” of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes (3 BT) of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2eq) through new forest and tree cover by 2030.

According to the land gap report 2022, meeting India’s reforestation pledge will require 56 percent of India’s land area to be dedicated for creating new forests. This is an order of magnitude higher than land required for the forest cover pledges of large countries like the USA (14 percent) and China (2 percent). Other estimates put the land required for reforestation at 30-40 Million ha (M ha) equal to the area of Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal combined. The reforestation pledge is clearly not well thought through and reconciled with India’s RE installation targets. The competition for land between RE installations and forest cover may invariably favour RE installations that are backed by large industrial and economic interests. But the rush to install RE capacity could come at the expense of forest cover that could, in theory, prove to be a sink for almost all of India’s annual carbon emissions of about 3 BT.

Source: World Bank Database

Monthly News Commentary: Oil

India’s Oil Imports from Russia Soar



India’s crude oil imports rose to a five-month high in December, government data showed, as refiners stocked up discounted Russian fuel amid a steady increase in consumption in the country. Crude imports for the month were up 2.7 percent from November at 19.52 MT, according to data from the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell. On a yearly basis, imports were down 0.7 percent in December. Russia continued to be the top oil supplier to India in December, shipping a record 1.25 million bpd. Oil product imports rose to 4.12 MT in December from 3.74 MT in November. Exports rose to 5.83 MT, with diesel accounting for 2.41 MT. Meanwhile, India’s fuel demand reached a nine-month high in December, helped by strong industrial activity and a rise in gasoline consumption. India has cut its windfall tax on crude oil and exports of ATF and diesel, according to a government notification. India, Asia’s third-biggest economy, holds surplus refining capacity and exports refined fuels as well.

Russia became the third-largest oil supplier to India in 2022, making up about 15 percent of total purchases, dragging down OPEC’s share to the lowest in more than a decade, data obtained from industry sources show. Refiners in India, the world’s third-biggest oil consumer and importer, have been gorging on Russian oil sold at a discount after some Western companies shunned buying from Moscow following its invasion of Ukraine last February. In 2021, Russia was at the 17th spot, supplying about 1 percent of India’s overall imports. India’s oil imports from Russia surged to an all-time high of 1.25 million bpd, about a quarter of overall 4.9 million bpd purchase, the data showed. India’s December oil imports were the highest in seven months as refiners were drawn to Russian oil due to the deeper discounts offered ahead of a 5 December embargo by Europe and a price cap by the European Union and G7 nations to cut Moscow’s oil revenue.

Guyana expects to soon receive a proposal from India for long-term purchases of the South American country’s oil, President Irfaan Ali said, a new attempt to reach a government-to-government deal potentially leading to better sale terms for Guyana. Guyana’s government is entitled to a share of crude produced off the nation’s coast by a consortium led by Exxon Mobil Corp. In 2022, Ali’s government received a total of 13 cargoes of crude, and it expects to receive and export 17 cargoes this year, the finance ministry said. India’s ONGC Videsh Ltd is considering a bid for some of the 14 areas on offer, and refiner IOC also is looking to work in Guyana in collaboration with ONGC Videsh. Guyana and India in 2021 failed to reach an agreement for direct sales of Guyana’s sweet crude to Indian state refiners.


India’s fuel demand reached a nine-month high in December, helped by strong industrial activity and a rise in gasoline consumption due to an uptick in passenger vehicle sales. Consumption of fuel, a proxy for oil demand, was about 4 percent higher than the previous month, and rose 3.1 percent year-on-year to 19.60 million tonnes (MT) in December, data from Indian oil ministry’s Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC) showed. Sales of diesel, which account for about four-fifths of India’s refined fuel demand, rose 6.5 percent in December from a year earlier to 7.78 MT, while sales of gasoline, or petrol, rose 5.9 percent to 2.98 MT, the PPAC data showed. On a daily basis, consumption of gasoline rose marginally in December compared to the previous month. Cooking gas or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) sales increased 3.9 percent in December to 2.58 MT, while naphtha sales edged up 0.5 percent to 1.11 MT.

Retail Prices

Oil Minister Hardeep Singh Puri hoped petrol prices will be reduced no sooner than state-owned oil companies recoup past losses. Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) have for the past 15 months not revised petrol and diesel prices in line with the cost. The losses incurred are now being recouped after oil prices slid. Softening of international prices from multi-year peak hit last year had led to companies making profit on petrol but they continue to incur losses on diesel. Puri said oil companies acted as responsible corporate citizens by not burdening consumers of the rally in global energy prices in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The oil ministry is pushing for compensation for the three retailers to make up for the losses they incurred.

India has cut its windfall tax on crude oil and exports of aviation turbine fuel (ATF) and diesel, according to a government notification dated 16 January. It cut its windfall tax on crude to INR 1,900 (US$23.28) per tonne from INR 2,100 per tonne. The government also cut export tax on ATF to INR 3.5 per litre from INR 4.5 per litre, and cut export tax on diesel to INR 5 per litre from INR 6.5 per litre, the notification said. India, a major consumer and importer of oil, has been buying Russian crude at well below a US$ 60 price cap agreed by the West. The country in July imposed the windfall tax on crude oil producers and levies on exports of gasoline, diesel and aviation fuel after private refiners sought overseas markets to gain from robust refining margins, instead of selling more cheaply at home.


Indian refiners’ crude oil processing in December rose about 4 percent from a year earlier, provisional government data showed, in line with elevated demand in the world’s third-biggest oil importer and consumer. Crude oil production last month was at 586,700 barrels per day (2.48 MT), down nearly 1.2 percent year on year, the data showed, on lower output at certain Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) clusters. Crude oil imports rose meanwhile to a five-month high on refiners stocking up on cheaper Russian fuel amid a steady increase in consumption in the country. Processing in November fell to 19.58 MT, while crude oil production was 586,000 barrels per day (bpd), down 1.1 percent versus last year, the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas data showed. BPCL plans to shut its multiple refineries for maintenance in the coming months.

BPCL plans to shut its 156,000 bpd Bina refinery in central India for about a month in June for maintenance. The refiner plans to shut half of its 240,000 bpd Mumbai refinery in western India for three to four weeks in September-October for maintenance. Indian refiners have to shut units at refineries once every four years for maintenance and inspection. Numaligarh Refinery Ltd plans to shut its 60,000 bpd plant in the northeast for about 40 days up to the end of April for maintenance.

According to HPCL, it will complete expansion of its Vizag oil refinery in Andhra Pradesh to 15 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) by June. HPCL is expanding the 8.33 MTPA refinery and building a new one at Barmer in Rajasthan to bridge the gap between the fuel it produces and sells. HPCL sells 50 percent more petrol, diesel and LPG than it produces. The Vizag expansion as well as the 9 MTPA unit in Rajasthan expected by 2024-end, would bridge the gap. As per the company,  HPCL’s residue upgradation project at Vizag refinery will improve its distillate yield and will be ready by the end of 2023.


The Government of India will stick to its demand for a 10 percent increase in its share of the revenues from Indian conglomerate Vedanta’s Barmer oil and gas block. The Supreme Court has been hearing a dispute between Vedanta and the federal government related to an extension of the production-sharing contract for the Barmer asset in the western state of Rajasthan. The government did not agree with Vedanta’s argument that the project would be made unviable if the revenue share increases.

Rest of the World


Global oil inventories will increase over the next two years with more global oil production than consumption, the US (United States) Energy Information Administration (EIA) has forecast. Partly as a result, crude oil prices will further go down, the EIA said in its January Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO) report. The report forecast that global production of liquid fuels will reach an average of 102.8 million bpd in 2024, up from 100 million bpd in 2022, driven by large growth in non-OPEC production. However, uncertainty over Russia’s oil supply will persist, particularly in early 2023, the report noted, expecting global consumption of liquid fuels will rise from an average of 99.4 million bpd in 2022 to 102.2 million bpd in 2024. The EIA said that ongoing concerns about global economic conditions as well as the easing Covid-19 restrictions in China raised the uncertainty of the outcomes of its demand forecasts. US refining margins for diesel are expected to fall by 20 percent in 2023 and by 38 percent in 2024. The EIA forecast retail diesel prices to average about US$ 4.20 per gallon in 2023, down 16 percent from 2022, and continue to fall in 2024, averaging near US$ 3.70 per gallon.

Africa & Middle East/ OPEC+

Uganda commissioned the first of its four planned oil rigs and the start of drilling the first production well, a key milestone as the country races to meet its target of first oil output in 2025 after a long delay. The East African country discovered commercial reserves of petroleum nearly two decades ago but production has been repeatedly postponed over a lack of infrastructure such as a pipeline.

Uganda plans to announce a third oil licensing round in May in an effort to further develop a sector on track to produce its first oil in 2025. Energy Minister Ruth Nankabirwa Ssentamu said detailing developments in the sector that the next licensing round would be announced at a regional petroleum conference due to take place in Uganda’s capital Kampala in May. The East African country discovered commercial hydrocarbon deposits near its western border with Democratic Republic of Congo in 2006. Production is projected to begin in 2025. Uganda is also developing a crude export pipeline and a domestic crude refinery that will help to commercialise the country’s oil resources.

A long-running dispute on oil revenue-sharing between Iraq’s national government and the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region may be resolved within months with agreement on a hydrocarbons law, Iraqi Kurdish Prime Minister Masrour Barzani said. Barzani said the federal government committed to freeze for now court actions it had taken for control of oil and gas revenues from the Kurdish region. Agreement on regular budget payments from Baghdad would help authorities in the Kurdish Regional Government resolve payment delays to international oil companies in the region, as well as easing a backlog in salary payments for KRG employees. In 2018, Iraqi forces retook disputed territories, including the oil city of Kirkuk. Baghdad resumed some budget payments but they have been sporadic, and the federal government has tried to bring KRG revenues under its control, including through local court rulings and threats of international arbitration.

OPEC+ is facing “volatile prospects” in oil markets both in supply and demand, UAE Energy Minister Suhail al-Mazrouei said. He said this was due to European sanctions on Russian crude taking effect in addition to China lifting its “zero-COVID” policy. OPEC+ production capacity was down 3.7 million bpd due to fewer investments in the oil sector, he said. He said UAE is taking pre-emptive steps to compensate for the reduced oil production capacity in some countries by bringing forward its five million bpd oil production capacity expansion to 2027 from a previous target of 2030.

Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) oil output rose in December, a survey found, despite an agreement by the wider OPEC+ alliance to cut production targets to support the market. The OPEC pumped 29.0 million bpd last month, the survey found, up 120,000 bpd from November. In September, OPEC output had been its highest since 2020. December’s rise was led by recovering output in Nigeria, which has been battling for months with crude theft and insecurity in its oil-producing region. Many Nigerian crude streams produced more in December, the survey said. OPEC+ had been boosting output for most of 2022 as demand recovered. For November, with oil prices weakening, the group made its largest cut to production targets since the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

North & South America

Venezuela’s state oil firm PDVSA is toughening terms for buyers after a month-long halt to most exports of crude and fuel, demanding prepayment ahead of loadings in either cash, goods or services, company documents showed. PDVSA put the move in place this month. It reinforces measures implemented last year after several buyers skipped out on payments for oil, which provides most of the South American country’s income. The new terms narrow a wide variety of contract modalities to a few requiring prepayment of cargoes entirely in cash or allowing payment via goods and services to Venezuela, but they must be received before Venezuela will release the oil, according to the documents.

President Joe Biden will veto a bill by US House of Representatives Republicans on the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) if it passes Congress, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said. Granholm warned Republicans that limiting the Democratic president’s authority to tap the nation’s oil reserves would undermine national security, cause crude oil shortages, and raise gasoline prices. Biden tapped the SPR repeatedly last year in response to oil prices that jumped due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and as travel increased while the COVID-19 pandemic eased. The Energy Department this month rejected the first batch of bids from oil companies to resupply a small amount of crude to the SPR.

The new head of Venezuela’s state oil company PDVSA has suspended most oil export contracts while his team reviews them in a move to avoid payment defaults. Since US trading sanctions were first imposed on PDVSA in 2019, the company has increasingly resorted to little known middlemen to allocate its oil exports, leading to big price discounts and problems with payments affecting its cash flow. PDVSA’s new Chief Executive Pedro Rafael Tellechea wrote to the heads of the company’s divisions of supply and trade, domestic market, international market, finances and foreign affairs and notified them of the contract suspensions. Venezuela’s oil exports last year declined 2.5 percent to 616,540 barrels per day due to infrastructure outages, US sanctions and rising competition in its key Asia market despite assistance from ally Iran, according to shipping data and documents.


China issued a second batch of 2023 crude oil import quotas, raising the total for this year by 20 percent compared to the same time last year. According to the document from the Ministry of Commerce, 44 companies, mostly independent refiners, were given 111.82 MT in import quotas in this round. Combined with the 20 MT in 2023 quotas granted to 21 refineries in October, that takes the total for this year to 131.82 MT, up from the 109.03 MT issued in the first batch for 2022. The second batch of quotas for 2022 was released in June last year. China, the world’s biggest oil importer, allocated some 2023 quotas earlier than usual to shore up the sluggish economy by encouraging refiners to boost operations. Zhejiang Petrochemical Corp (ZPC), which operates China’s biggest privately-owned refinery site, was granted the largest quota of this batch at 20 MT, on par with last year’s issuance, according to the documents. Hengli Petrochemical received a quota of 14 million tonnes and Shenghong Petrochemical’s newly started 320,000 bpd refinery received 8 MT. Hengli won a quota of 4.83 MTin the first batch in October. Global oil futures benchmarks Brent and West Texas Intermediate both gained more than US$2 a barrel, on optimism for future fuel demand as China dropped its zero-COVID restrictions and began unfettered travel across its borders.

Rest of Asia Pacific

Long queues of automobiles and motorcycles were witnessed at filling stations in Pakistan’s capital city of Islamabad and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province due to reduced supplies by oil marketing companies. According to petrol dealers, companies cut down supplies of petroleum products to the province over long delays in the issuance of letters of credit by private banks for imports. Drivers in Peshawar said that most petrol pumps in the city were closed but the filling stations owned by the Pakistan State Oil, continued sales, attracting large crowds of motorists and motorcyclists.

The lifting of COVID-19 restrictions in China is set to boost global oil demand this year to a new record high, the IEA said, while price cap sanctions on Russia could dent supply. Weak industrial activity and mild weather helped cut oil demand by nearly a million barrels per day in the OECD developed countries in the last quarter of 2022. But despite possible but likely mild recessions in Europe and the United States, China’s expected reopening is set to fuel rebounds in nearby Asian economies and see it take the lead from India as the world’s leader in oil demand growth. Meanwhile the main growth in oil supply is set to come from the United States as output from the OPEC+ producer group will decline by 870,000 bpd, led by Russia. Russian oil output was dented by only 200,000 bpd in December after the European Union banned imports of its seaborne crude and a coalition of countries imposed a price cap on its crude, the IEA said.

Indonesia missed oil and gas production targets last year but expects long-stalled gas projects, the Indonesia Deepwater Development (IDD) and Masela gas blocks, to resume development soon. The Southeast Asian country, which aims to boost its crude oil lifting to 1 million bpd and gas to 12,000 million standard cubic feet per day (mmscfd) by 2030, and is ramping up efforts to attract investment and to get stalled projects going. US oil giant Chevron is close to reaching a deal with an investor to transfer its stake and operatorship of IDD, Dwi Soetjipto, head of upstream oil and gas regulator (SKK Migas), said. Chevron announced in early 2020 its intention to exit its 62 percent stake in the project as it makes sweeping changes to its global portfolio. Indonesia’s upstream production in 2022 came below target amid unplanned shutdowns and due to maturing blocks.

Sri Lanka is preparing to issue two-year oil and gas exploration licences for as many as 900 offshore blocks for foreign firms to scout for energy resources and bring in vital investments to the crisis-hit country. Starting up oil production is part of President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s plan to attract foreign investment as he seeks to stabilise the economy amid the country’s worst economic crisis in seven decades. The new regulations were finalised by the government and set a framework for companies to sign an expression of interest (EOI) for exploring offshore assets around the country, the Petroleum Development Authority said. The rules for oil exploration will be made public and the government hopes to start issuing licences for some of the 900 blocks within weeks, the authority said.


The European Commission (EU) is proposing that the European Union set a US$100 per barrel price cap on premium Russian oil products like diesel and a US$45 per barrel cap on discounted products like fuel oil, EU said. The proposal was sent to EU governments, whose representatives will discuss it at a meeting, with a view to a deal before the price cap on imported Russian oil products, in line with an agreement by G7 countries. The price cap on Russian oil products follows a US$60 per barrel cap imposed on Russian crude on 5 December as G7 countries and the 27-nation EU as a whole seek to limit Russia’s revenue from its oil exports without disrupting world supply. The price caps imposed by the G7 — the US, Canada, Japan, Britain, Italy, France and Germany — and the EU are to curb Moscow’s ability to finance its war in Ukraine. Both price caps work by prohibiting Western insurance and shipping companies from insuring or carrying cargoes of Russian crude and oil products unless they were bought at or below the set price cap. The US$60 per barrel limit on crude is now up for review as the market price has been just below the cap.

BP PLC said it planned to expand investments in the Gulf of Mexico and Texas, where it has its two top US oil and gas production operations. The increase comes as inflation costs hit the industry and as the White House calls on oil companies to expand oil supply to reduce fuel prices for consumers. The London-based company plans to increase spending in its US onshore oil and gas business, mostly in Texas, by 41 percent to US$2.4 billion (bn) in 2023 from US$1.7 bn last year, it said. BP said it planned to raise its Gulf of Mexico investment to an average of US$2.3 bn a year in 2023 to 2025 from US$2 bn per annum in the past five years. Despite that boost, BP reduced its offshore production plans in the Gulf to around 350,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boed) in the mid-2020s from the 400,000 boed previously planned for the period.

News Highlights: 1 – 7 February 2023

National: Oil

India will take leading role in oil requirement till 2045

7 February: After China drove the initial demand growth, it is going to be India which will take the leading role in crude requirement, along with other Asian and African countries, as per an OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) report. According to the OPEC’s “World Oil Outlook 2045” report, released during the ongoing India Energy Week, besides India, fairly robust growth during this period is also projected for African and other Asian countries where economic progress, urbanisation, industrialisation, and vehicle fleet expansion will be fastest among all regions. Even by 2045, oil demand will still grow at a rate of more than 2 percent per annum in India and Africa and 1 percent per annum in the other Asia region, the report, which charts a roadmap for the oil sector from 2022 till 2045, said.

Government hikes windfall tax on crude oil, export of diesel, ATF

5 February: The government has hiked windfall profit tax levied on domestically-produced crude oil as well as on the export of diesel and ATF (aviation turbine fuel), in line with firming international oil prices, according to an official order. The levy on crude oil produced by companies such as Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has been increased to INR5,050 per tonne from INR 1,900 per tonne, the order said. Crude oil pumped out of the ground and from below the seabed is refined and converted into fuels like petrol, diesel and ATF. The government has also hiked the tax on export of diesel to INR 7.5 per litre from INR 5, and the same on overseas shipments of ATF to INR6 a litre from INR 3.5 a litre. The new tax rates came into effect from 4 February. Tax rates were cut at the last fortnightly review on 17 January, following softening in global oil prices. International oil prices have since then formed, necessitating the hike of a windfall tax. India first imposed windfall profit taxes on 1 July, joining a growing number of nations that tax super normal profits of energy companies. At that time, export duties of INR6 per litre (US$12 per barrel) each were levied on petrol and ATF and INR 13 a litre (US$26 a barrel) on diesel. Reliance Industries Ltd, which operates the world’s largest single-location oil refinery complex at Jamnagar in Gujarat, and Rosneft-backed Nayara Energy are primary exporters of fuel in the country. The government levies tax on windfall profits made by oil producers on any price they get above a threshold of US$75 per barrel.

Indian refiners pay traders in dirhams for Russian oil

3 February: Indian refiners have begun paying for most of their Russian oil purchased via Dubai-based traders in United Arab Emirates dirhams instead of US (United States) dollars. While Western sanctions against Moscow are not recognised by India, and purchases of Russian oil may in any case not violate them, banks and financial institutions are cautious about clearing payments so as not to unwittingly fall foul of the many measures imposed against Russia following its invasion of Ukraine. Indian refiners and traders are concerned they may not be able to continue to settle trades in dollars, especially if the price of Russian crude rises above a cap imposed by the Group of Seven nations and Australia in December. Indian refiners typically buy Russian crude from traders at a price that includes delivery to India. Indian refiners mostly buy Russian crude from Dubai-based traders including Everest Energy and Litasco, a unit of Russian oil major Lukoil. India’s oil secretary Pankaj Jain said Indian companies were not facing any problems in paying for Russian oil as the latest actions by the West do not impact the trade settlement mechanism.

Indian state oil companies to spend US$13 bn in fiscal 2024

1 February: Indian state-run oil companies will spend INR1.06 trillion (US$12.95 billion) in the next fiscal year from April, a growth of about 27 percent from the revised estimates of this year, the budget document shows. India, the world’s third-biggest oil importer and consumer, wants to unlock its hydrocarbon reserves to cut dependence on costly imports. India imports over 80 percent of its oil needs. State refiners in Asia’s third-largest economy are also expanding their refining and fuel retailing capacities to meet the country’s growing fuel demand. Nearly half of overall expenditure would be for refineries expansion and upgrade while about 44 percent will be used for exploration and production of hydrocarbons, the data provided in the budget documents shows.

National: Gas

Adani Total expects to receive 2.2 MT at Dhamra LNG terminal in FY24

7 February: Adani Total Private Ltd expects to receive 2.2 million tonnes (MT) of liquefied natural gas (LNG) at its terminal at Dhamra on India’s eastern coast during the year ending March 2024, the company said. Adani Total has a 20-year take-or-pay contract to provide regasification services to state-run Indian Oil Corp for 3 MT of LNG per annum at the Dhamra terminal. GAIL (India) Ltd has a similar 1.5 MT per annum deal. Adani Total – in which French oil and gas major TotalEnergies has a 50 percent stake – said it was still in discussions on how much gas it would supply Indian Oil and GAIL, adding that a final decision had not been taken yet. India’s LNG imports fell for the second straight year in 2022, mainly due to fewer imports by utilities as the country ramped up coal-fired power production at the expense of natural gas.

India’s Petronet seeks more LNG under long-term Qatar deal

7 February: Petronet LNG, India’s top gas importer, will seek up to 1 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) in additional liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplies when it renews its long-term deal with Qatar. Petronet, which is currently purchasing LNG from Qatar at US$16 per million metric British thermal unit (mmBtu), has until the end of this year to renew its deal. India’s LNG imports fell for the second straight year in 2022, mainly due to fewer imports by utilities as the country ramped up coal-fired power production at the expense of natural gas. The energy-hungry nation expects deeper penetration of city gas distribution to drive LNG demand in the coming years. Petronet, which is currently purchasing 1.42 mtpa of LNG from Exxon Mobil Corp’s Gorgon project in Australia, will receive an additional 0.6 mtpa under the deal from 2025-26.

Over 530 km gas pipeline laid along Samruddhi Mahamarg

7 February: Almost 80 percent work on the country’s first ever natural gas pipeline running along an express highway, connecting Mumbai to Nagpur, has been completed. Public sector undertaking GAIL (India) Ltd is building the pipeline along the Samruddhi Mahamarg. The current pipeline would ultimately connect Mumbai to Jharsuguda in Odisha, with Nagpur in between. GAIL has recently got the go-ahead to lay the pipeline from Nagpur to Jharsuguda leg also. It has been learnt through sources that the project started in August 2021, and out of more than 680 km to be covered from Mumbai, pipeline has already been laid over 530 km, said independent sources. Haryana City Gas, which has bagged the contract for supply in Nagpur, is in talks with GAIL to secure the gas supply. It is learnt to have initiated the process to get approvals for laying its network in the city too.

National: Coal

Power ministry asks Punjab utility to start lifting 15-20 percent of coal requirement via rail-ship-rail mode

7 February: The power ministry has asked the Punjab power utility PSPCL to start lifting 15-20 of its domestic coal requirement through rail-ship-rail mode, while highlighting that the transport of dry fuel would be cheaper than the import of coal. The ministry in a letter to Punjab State Power Corporation Ltd (PSPCL) stated that the transport of fossil fuel using the rail-ship-rail (RSR) mode is, though costlier than all rail routes, it is cheaper than importing coal. The ministry asked PSPCL to start lifting 15-20 percent of its domestic coal requirement via rail-ship-rail mode with at least one-two rakes per day from Talcher mines of MCL. The ministry asked the utility to transport coal from mines in the eastern part of the country to the coal-based power plants situated in the northern and western part of the nation by using Rail-Ship-Rail mode.

Coal India arm MCL introduces drone technology in coal mines

4 February: Coal India Ltd arm Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL) has introduced drone technology in coal mines for environmental monitoring, volume measurement and photogrammetric mapping of mines for digitalisation of the mining process. The technology has been introduced through the launch of a web-based portal ‘VIHANGAM’ along with a drone and ground control system. This pilot project is currently operational at Bhubaneswari and Lingaraj opencast mines of Talcher Coalfields in Odisha. Besides deploying state-of-art technology to further enhance record coal production, MCL has also stepped up the use of latest equipment to further increase safety standards. It has recently introduced robotic nozzle water sprayer in its coal stockyard. The companies operating in the coal sector use robot-assisted firefighting and dust suppression advanced technology to carry out difficult and dangerous jobs. Engaged in coal mining activities in Sundergarh, Jharsuguda and Angul districts of Odisha, Mahanadi Coalfields contributes more than 20 percent of the total coal produced in the country. Coal India accounts for over 80 percent of the domestic coal output.

India’s coal production rises 13 percent in January

3 February: The country’s coal output stood at 79.65 million tonnes (MT) in the corresponding month of the previous fiscal. As per provisional data of the coal ministry, Coal India Ltd (CIL) registered a production growth of 11.44 percent in January, whereas SCCL and captive mines, and others posted a growth of 13.93 percent and 22.89 percent, respectively. Of the top 37 coal producing mines, production of 28 was more than 100 percent, while the output of three mines stood between 80 and 100 percent during last month. At the same time, coal despatch increased by 8.54 percent to 81.91 MT last month compared to 75.47 MT in January last fiscal.

National: Power

KSEB disconnects power to Kerala government offices in Malappuram

7 February: KSEB authorities disconnected power supply to several government offices in the Malappuram civil station over non-payment of power bills which has hit the functioning of many offices. The offices where power supply was disconnected included three offices of the education department, the office of the soil conservation department, the office of PWD roads section, scheduled castes development department and information and public relations department. KSEB officials in Malappuram, meanwhile, said that they had to resort to disconnecting the power to the government office as the bills were not paid despite repeated reminders.

India’s electricity consumption grows nearly 13 percent to 126.16 bn units in January

1 February: India’s power consumption logged a double-digit year-on-year growth of nearly 13 percent to 126.16 billion units in January 2023, according to government data. The robust growth of power consumption indicates sustained momentum of economic activities in January. Experts earlier said the power consumption and demand would increase in January due to the use of heating appliances, especially in the northern parts of the country, and a further improvement in economic activities. In January 2022, power consumption stood at 111.80 billion units, higher than the 109.76 billion units in the same month of 2021, the data showed. The peak power demand met, which is the highest supply in a day, rose to 210.61 gigawatt (GW) in January 2023. The peak power supply stood at 192.18 GW in January 2022 and 189.39 GW in January 2021. The peak power demand was 170.97 GW in the pre-pandemic January 2020.

National: Non-Fossil Fuels/ Climate Change Trends

India’s non-fossil power generation touches 174 GW in 2022: Singh

7 February: India’s non-fossil fuel-based power generation capacity was at 174.53 gigawatts (GW) at the end of 31 December 2022. The country’s total power generation capacity, including 235.81 GW from the thermal base, was at 410 GW at the end of 2022, Minister for Power, New and Renewable Energy R K Singh said. The capacity includes 63.30 GW solar power, 46.85 GW large hydro, 41.93 GW wind power, 10.73 GW bio power, 4.94 GW small hydro power and 6.78 GW nuclear power. He said 2,97,609 million units of energy from various sources of renewable energy in the April-December period of 2022-23.

20 GW offshore wind power project in Gujarat gets nod

7 February: In what is being projected as one of the country’s biggest renewable energy pushes, the Union government has granted in-principle approval for the offshore wind power generation on the Gujarat coastline. With an expected investment of about INR 160 bn in setting up offshore windmills and an additional investment of between INR 200 bn to INR 240 bn in setting up onshore transmission infrastructure, the ambitious project envisages wind power generation to the tune of 20,000 MW or 2 gigawatts (GW). The state government will purchase all the power generated under the proposed project. The Union ministry of renewable energy will invite bids to set up offshore wind power generation infrastructure off the Gujarat coast. The state government will partner with the Centre to set up necessary infrastructure along the coastline, including transmission networks.

India’s G20 energy meet to balance renewables, fossil fuels

5 February: Over 500 energy industry heavyweights and 30,000 participants will descend on the southern Indian city of Bengaluru to discuss the future of renewables and fossil fuels at India Energy Week — the first big ticket event of the country’s presidency of the Group of 20 leading economies. India is currently the third highest emitter of planet-warming gases but has pledged to reach net zero emissions by 2070 and dramatically ramp up its renewable energy capacity. Most of the Indian participants at the event belong to either government-owned or private fossil fuel companies, sparking concerns from climate experts. But others said it’s important to keep the conversation with fossil fuels interests going as they remain key players in energy.

Tata Power to operationalise solar cell, module facility by December

5 February: Tata Power aims to operationalise its solar cell and module facility being set up in Tamil Nadu by December-end of this year, the company’s CEO & MD Praveer Sinha said. In July 2022, Tata Power inked a pact with the Tamil Nadu government to invest INR30 bn for setting up a new facility to manufacture solar cells and modules in Tirunelveli district of the state. The construction work is going on in full swing. The equipment to set up the unit has already been ordered. The aim is to make the plant operational by December-end of this year, Sinha said. As per the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Tamil Nadu government, Tata Power company has to set up a greenfield 4 gigawatt (GW) solar cell and 4 GW solar module manufacturing plant in the southern state. On the 225 megawatt (MW) hybrid project in Karnataka, he said the company awaits regulatory approval and clearances from the regulatory commission for purchase of power. In December 2022, Tata Power Renewable Energy Ltd (TPREL), a subsidiary of Tata Power, had received a letter of award (LoA) from Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd (TPDDL) to set up the wind and solar hybrid power project in Karnataka.

Developed countries must fulfil financial commitments to achieve climate goals: Environment Minister

4 February: Developed countries will have to fulfil their financial commitments if the goal of restricting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels is to be achieved, Union Environment and Climate Change Minister Bhupender Yadav said. India has 17 percent of the world’s population but contributes only four percent carbon emissions, while the developed countries together have 17 percent of the population but their carbon emissions account for 60 percent of the total, Yadav noted.

UP in talks with Denmark to make ethanol from agri waste

3 February: The state government is in talks with Denmark for assistance in adopting a new technology for making ethanol and methanol from agricultural waste. Ambassador of Denmark Freddie Svane met chief secretary D S Mishra recently and discussed the technology used in conversion of stubble straw into bio straw briquettes into ethanol or methanol. There is a possibility that after setting up the first plant in Denmark by 2025, the country will help the state government set up the next one in UP (Uttar Pradesh). The Ambassador of Denmark informed the chief secretary that bio methanol and e-methanol are being produced from agricultural waste, wheat, and paddy straws. E-methanol is produced from hydrogen and carbon dioxide produced through the fermentation process. Denmark is setting up the first project based on this patented technology and it is proposed that production will start in 2025. Meanwhile, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) is setting up a 2G ethanol plant on a 50-acre plot in Gorakhpur with a proposed investment of about INR 8 bn. The plant will use cellulose as raw material, which includes sugarcane byproducts, agricultural residue, vegetable oils and sugar. The proposal to make Bio-CNG from wet waste is also under consideration by the urban bodies in major cities of the state.

Government making concerted efforts to make Punjab Carbon Neutral state: Arora

3 February: Punjab Government is making concerted efforts to make the state a “Carbon Neutral state”, and energy conservation is the focus area to abate greenhouse gas emission to save the environment. The assertions were made by the state’s New and Renewable Energy Sources Minister Aman Arora while addressing the State Level Energy Conservation Day and Award function organised by Punjab Energy Development Agency (PEDA). Apart from this, Punjab has taken the lead to develop and notify Punjab Energy Conservation Building Code by amending National Energy Conservation Building Code for the composite climate zone applicable in the state.  PEDA chairman HS Hanspal stressed to adopt renewable energy sources and use power judiciously, adopting energy conservation and energy efficiency measures.

Rajasthan likely to benefit big from union Budget’s emphasis on green energy

2 February: Rajasthan, which is the leader in solar energy generation in the country and has inked MoUs worth over INR 8k bn during the ‘Investment Rajasthan’ summit, is likely to benefit from Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s focus on the sector. Presenting the Budget, Sitharaman announced measures to make solar a dependable power as she focused on battery manufacturing, pumped hydro storage, and green hydrogen among others. The Minister said the government is implementing many programmes for green fuel, green energy, green farming, green mobility, green buildings, and green equipment, and policies for efficient use of energy across various economic sectors. The Minister announced an inter-state transmission system for evacuation and grid integration of 13 GW of renewable energy from Ladakh. The infrastructure will be constructed with investment of INR 207 bn including central support of INR83 bn, the Minister said. On the green hydrogen mission, the Minister referred to the recently launched national mission with an outlay of INR 197 bn. It will facilitate transition of the economy to low carbon intensity, reduce dependence on fossil fuel imports, and make the country assume technology and market leadership in this sunrise sector, the Minister said.

International: Oil

China’s oil demand bounce may push producers to reconsider output: IEA

5 February: Oil producers may have to reconsider their output policies following a demand recovery in China, the world’s second-largest oil consumer, the International Energy Agency (IEA)’s Executive Director Fatih Birol said. Demand in China, the world’s largest crude importer and No. 2 buyer of liquefied natural gas (LNG), has become the biggest uncertain factor in global oil and gas markets in 2023 as investors bet on the speed of its recovery after Beijing lifted COVID restrictions in December. He said that China’s jet fuel demand is exploding, putting upward pressure on demand.

Oil industry in Pakistan on verge of ‘collapse’ amid liquidity crisis

4 February: Oil companies in cash-strapped Pakistan have warned that the industry is on the “brink of collapse” as the dollar liquidity crisis persists and their cost of doing business balloons due to the rupee’s devaluation. The IMF (International Monetary Fund) has set several conditions for resuming the bailout, including a market-determined exchange rate for the local currency and an easing of fuel subsidies, both conditions which the government has already implemented. Energy comprises a large chunk of Pakistan’s import bill. According to the OCAC (Oil Companies Advisory Council), these losses not only have an impact on the profitability of the sector — which is already under severe pressure — but also on its viability since these setbacks in some cases might exceed the “entire year’s profit for the sector”. The council said that due to an increase in oil prices and successive depreciation of the Pakistani rupee over the last 18 months, the trade finance limits available from the banking sector to the industry have become inadequate.

OPEC+ committee recommends staying course on oil output policy

3 February: Leading oil officials recommended maintaining the current oil output policy of OPEC+, the OPEC and its allies, amid an uncertain global economic outlook. The OPEC+ agreed in October 2022 to cut production by 2 million barrels per day from the following month until the end of 2023. The cut equals to about 2 percent of the annual global oil demand.

China boosts imports of fuel oil blended from Russian barrels

3 February: China’s independent refineries are ramping up imports of discounted fuel oil blended from Russian barrels to use as low-cost feedstock amid a shortage of government crude oil import quotas for some of them, according to trade sources and data. Western sanctions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, including the looming 5 February embargo and price cap on refined products, have been pushing Russian fuel oil barrels eastward into Asia at attractive discounts since last year.

Biden administration recommends major Alaska oil project

2 February: The Biden administration released a long-awaited study that recommends allowing a major oil development on Alaska’s North Slope that supporters say could boost US (United States) energy security but that climate activists decry as a “carbon bomb.” ConocoPhillips Alaska had proposed five drilling sites as part of its Willow project, and the approach listed as the preferred alternative by the US Bureau of Land Management in the report calls for up to three drill sites initially. Opponents have raised concerns about the impacts of oil development on wildlife, such as caribou, and efforts to address climate change. The project is in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, a vast region roughly the size of Indiana on Alaska’s resource-rich North Slope. ConocoPhillips Alaska says the project, at its peak, could produce an estimated 180,000 barrels of oil a day.

Bangladesh seeks extended oil credit from Saudi Arabia

2 February: Cash-strapped Bangladesh has asked Saudi Arabia for extended credit on oil supplies, Dhaka’s foreign ministry said, as the South Asian nation grapples with dwindling foreign exchange reserves. Saudi Arabia supplies more than half of Bangladesh’s crude imports, but Bangladesh has been hit hard by the global surge in energy and food prices following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

International: Gas

Global LNG-Asian spot prices ease to over one-year low amid ample inventory levels

3 February: Prices of Asian spot liquefied natural gas (LNG) eased for a seventh consecutive week, falling to a near one-and-a-half year low, amid ample inventories in North Asia and Europe. The average LNG price for March delivery into Northeast Asia LNG-AS was at US$ 18.50 per million metric British thermal units (mmBtu), industry sources estimated, its lowest levels since August 2021. Amid easing spot prices, some energy companies in Asian emerging markets such as Thailand’s PTT as well as GAIL Ltd and Petronet from India began seeking cargoes for delivery during February to April.

Myanmar junta sold US$1.4 bn Rakhine natural gas to China in 2022

1 February: Myanmar’s military junta is selling Rakhine’s natural gas to China and it has sold over US$1.43 billion worth of it in 2022. Vast oil and gas profits continue flowing to and propping up Myanmar’s military junta since its bloody crackdown on nationwide resistance to the February 2021 coup, opposition and rights groups said. The Junta exported and sold billions worth of natural gas from Rakhine to China in 2022. The Myanmar-China natural gas pipeline is under the responsibility of South-East Asia Gas Pipeline Company Limited (SEAGP), while the crude oil pipeline is being managed by South-East Asia Crude Oil Pipeline Company (SEAOP). The gas pipeline, which was built at a cost of about US$ 1 billion, was said to be able to distribute and transport 12 billion cubic metres of gas annually. The natural gas produced from Rakhine offshore is sent to China’s Yunnan State through the gas pipeline across Magway, Mandalay and Shan State. Myanmar is among the countries that export the most gas to China and is the third largest exporter of natural gas after Turkmenistan and Russia.

Total CEO expected in Mozambique after gas project halted

1 February: French energy giant TotalEnergies CEO (Chief Executive Officer) Patrick Pouyanne is expected to visit Mozambique, where a multi-billion-dollar gas project has been on hold since a 2021 jihadist attack. Mozambique has set high hopes on vast natural gas deposits — the largest found south of the Sahara — that were discovered in the Muslim-majority northern province in 2010. If all the deposits are tapped, Mozambique could become one of the world’s 10 biggest gas exporters, according to estimates. TotalEnergies halted its US$20 billion LNG project in 2021, after a deadly raid on the coastal town of Palma. In November, the first export shipment of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the area left Mozambique for Europe. But the LNG was produced at Coral Sul, a floating facility managed by Italian company Eni.

International: Coal

China must phase out coal immediately to limit global warming

7 February: While China’s energy transition continues to build momentum–highlighted by sectoral peaking plans and supercharged national and provincial ambition on renewables rapid scaleup–unfortunately, dependency on carbon-intensive fossil fuels is set to stay for the immediate future. Current climate policies including efforts like the Powering Past Coal Alliance will not add up to a global coal exit, a new study shows. Moreover, carbon pricing and coal mining phase-out would be effective policies. The coalition may grow as member states work to modernise their electricity sectors, but it may also lead to a rebound in coal use globally. In 2020-2021, China began toning down its outlook on coal, highlighted by President Xi Jinping when he announced that China will strictly control coal consumption until 2025 and start to gradually phase it down thereafter. By the end of 2021, however, China had seemingly completely reneged on this strategy to focus on shoring up coal (and other fossil fuels) supply off the back of energy security and shortage concerns. Further, the simulation showed that the Alliance only manages to boost solar and wind energy expansion if China decides to phase-out coal.

International: Power

Poland eyes boost for nuclear energy in EU power market reform

6 February: Poland has urged the European Union (EU) to use upcoming reforms to Europe’s electricity market to do more to support investments in nuclear energy. The EU is set to propose a power market upgrade next month, to attempt to avoid a repeat of last year when cuts to Russian gas supply sent European power prices soaring, since gas plants often set overall electricity prices in the current EU system. Poland said the EU should also make it easier for countries to launch electricity capacity mechanisms and temporarily lift an emissions limit – which could allow such schemes to support coal power. In a capacity mechanism, a government pays power plants to guarantee they remain available to produce electricity when needed. Current EU rules only allow countries to do this as a last resort, and Brussels has raised concerns that the schemes may distort competition in energy markets. The EU has said its upcoming reforms will aim to expand Europe’s use of long-term contracts that provide power plants with a fixed price for their electricity, to try to make energy bills more stable and less tied to volatile short-term markets. Poland said it would support expanding these types of contracts.

International: Non-Fossil Fuels/ Climate Change Trends

EU considers push for fossil fuel phasedown ahead of COP28

7 February: European Union (EU) countries may seek support for an agreement to phase down fossil fuels ahead of this year’s UN climate change talks. EU country diplomats are negotiating conclusions to guide their diplomacy on climate change this year. On the table is an agreement to promote a shift away from so-called unabated fossil fuels, those burned without using technology to capture their planet-warming emissions, according to a draft. The bloc has yet to reach an agreement, however, as some EU countries are seeking weaker wording while others want a stronger, more explicit call to phase out fossil fuels. The world must substantially reduce fossil fuel energy use this decade in order to avoid the most devastating impacts of climate change, UN scientists said. The EU plans to update its 2030 emissions-cutting target under the Paris climate accord, and set a new one for 2040 to guide countries toward the goal of reaching net-zero emissions by 2050.

Europe looks to geothermal energy as carbon-free gas alternative

3 February: The heating plant in Munich’s southern Sendling neighbourhood has been run for more than a century on gas, often imported from far away. But increasingly, it is the hot waters from deep underground the station that provide the energy. Tacked on to the side of the original 19th-century red-brick plant is a boxy new geothermal unit surrounded by a tangle of pipes. Everywhere in Europe, interest in geothermal projects has grown in recent years as officials search for ways to decarbonise their energy systems.

Colombia clinches US$70 mn development funds for clean power

2 February: Colombia secured US$70 million to prime its power grid for more renewable sources like wind and solar, from a fund that aims to attract further cash for developing countries’ bids to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The windfall is the latest from the Climate Investment Funds (CIF) which was set up by big country donors in 2008 and has since put money into projects aimed at reducing carbon emissions in countries that seek help to do so. Developing economies account for two-thirds of global greenhouse gas emissions and it is harder for private investors to find viable projects in those countries than in mature markets, according to the International Monetary Fund. CIF said it hoped the US$70 million would attract a further US$280 million from public development banks and carbon finance markets. Colombia is a major coal producer but generates most of its own electricity from hydroelectric dams. These are prized as a carbon-free power source, but reliant on vast amounts of water. Solar panels accounted for just 0.8 percent of Colombia’s power capacity as of January 2022, but CIF said the country generated record levels of solar power in 2021, and that an “energy transformation is already under way in Colombia”.

PM Inaugurates K-III Nuclear Power Plant in Karachi

2 February: Prime Minister (PM) Shehbaz Sharif inaugurated K-III power plant, which will generate 1,100 megawatt (MW) electricity. The third unit of Karachi Nuclear Power Plant (KANUPP) has been completed with assistance from China. PM said that Pakistan was gifted with enormous resources with the potential of producing 60,000 megawatt (MW) through hydel power and regretted that the power generation stood merely at 10,000 MW. He said in view of the US$ 27 billion fuel import bill, Pakistan required alternative and cheaper sources of energy including solar, wind, hydel and nuclear.

This is a weekly publication of the Observer Research Foundation (ORF). It covers current national and international information on energy categorised systematically to add value. The year 2022 is the nineteenth continuous year of publication of the newsletter. The newsletter is registered with the Registrar of News Paper for India under No. DELENG / 2004 / 13485.

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