A ‘diverse mix of energy sources’ could be essential amid rising fuel prices

In what could signal political momentum in the Union’s next budget for 2022-23, the economic survey for 2021-22 flagged concerns about both clean energy sources and rising fuel prices. conventional fuel sources, calling for a “diversification” approach. mix of energy sources of which fossil fuels form a significant part”.

On the political level, more specifically, he highlighted three points that will be relevant:

1. The rate at which the transition from conventional sources to fossil fuels is taking place. This pace will determine the scale and composition of investments in renewable energy sources, he said.

2. He also stressed the importance of avoiding the risk of being a laggard in net zero emissions plans given that developed countries are already in the lead. This is relevant due to the inelastic supply of minerals and metals critical to the development of clean energy sources, which drives prices even higher in the future.

3. Finally, he called for encouraging research and development to ensure an effortless shift to renewable energy sources. It can also include a focus on developing technologies that recycle, reuse and repurpose minerals, he said.

“The recent spike in natural gas prices in Europe due to higher energy demand, coupled with cold spells in the region and slower winds to operate wind turbines, has led to lower production of electricity. The energy crisis in Europe highlights the need for a diversified mix of energy sources, of which fossil fuels are an important part. At the same time, the focus should be on the storage of buildings for intermittent power generation from solar PV and wind farms to ensure on-demand energy supply,” the survey noted.

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As energy crises rage in various parts of the world, mainly in Europe, India must focus on a balanced approach of switching to renewable energies and reducing those based on fossil fuels.

Notably, the government has already started building a large battery storage system, which has encouraged multimillion-dollar deals in energy storage technology, including stationary-scale storage applications. of the network. The Center has already announced its intention to launch tenders to set up 13 GWh grid-scale battery storage systems in the Ladakh region, in addition to constructing a battery storage system in 14 GWh grid scale at the world’s largest renewable energy park at Khavda in Kutch in Gujarat. .

Energy Minister RK Singh had recently said that the government would soon come up with an energy storage policy that could phase out the establishment of stand-alone energy storage systems with a view to expanding the use of the systems. of storage in the country to enable a smooth transition to clean energy. . Singh has repeatedly called on Western countries to make low investments in energy storage technology development to drive down the price of storage.

Separately, analysts predict that crude oil prices could reach $125 a barrel due to geopolitical tensions in the Middle East and Europe, as Russia has amassed a large number of troops on its border with Ukraine.

In addition, major oil producing countries maintained their crude oil supplies on a gradually increasing production schedule despite a sharp increase in global crude oil prices. Earlier this month, OPEC decided to increase its overall daily production levels by just 400,000 barrels per day in February despite its own forecast that oil demand would increase by 4.15 million barrels per day. in 2022. India has repeatedly called on OPEC to increase production to meet rising global demand noting that high crude oil prices are undermining post-pandemic economic recovery in emerging countries.

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