India ahead of developed countries on clean energy pledge, says Govt.

Power Minister RK Singh on Friday told the Lok Sabha that India was outstripping developed countries in terms of achieving pledges with regard to clean energy. He said this while moving the Energy Conservation (Amendment) Bill, 2022 in the Lok Sabha, a Bill that seeks to make it mandatory for buildings with a minimum connected load of 100 KW to meet their energy requirements from renewable sources.

“Large economies and developed countries are no match to India in the speed of achieving pledges for clean energy…. There are two reasons for it — one is our concern for the environment and the second reason is that we want to make our country self-reliant,” he said. “We have to end our dependence on foreign imports of things like petroleum and coking coal,” Mr. Singh added. The Bill seeks to mandate the use of non-fossil sources, including green hydrogen and green ammonia, the Minister said.

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 Tricolor as the profile picture of their social media accounts between August 2 and August 15.

“Currently, 95% of the hydrogen produced is gray 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% gray hydrogen to green hydrogen,” Ms. Moitra said.

The debate remained inconclusive and will be taken up again next week. Mr. Singh had introduced the Energy Conservation (Amendment) Bill in the Lok Sabha earlier this week.

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