Last month GAIL signed a MoU with a US based company started by an Indian origin scientist promoting power generation from Fuel Cells using natural gas. This smart way of power generation without the need of transmission network and power grid has the potential to provide reliable and affordable power in rural and remote places besides the fact that it can immediately replace expensive and polluting diesel genets based power in metro suburbs.
The effort of our Government led by Hon’ble PM is to move towards a gas based economy. During his tenure as Chief Minister of Gujarat usage of gas in energy basket of Gujarat increased to about 25%. Our efforts to promote gas based economy presupposes that gas will be promoted as cooking fuel in form of PNG transport fuel as CNG and LNG for automobiles, trains & ships; feedstock to run power and fertiliser plants and as fuel industrial growth of India.
I would term gas as ACE fuel, where ACE stands for Affordable, Clean, and Efficient. We must aim at increasing our consumption of the ACE fuel multifold in the next decade. I call it ACE fuel for the following reasons:
The general perception about natural gas is that it’s a rich person’s commodity; a clean but unaffordable source of energy. This had partially been true but its changing fast with technological advancements and development of global supply networks. Gas is much cheaper than liquid fuel. It is estimated that if India replaces 1% of its imported crude with imported gas, it would cut its import bill by Rs. 3,000 crore per annum. If we further replace it with domestically produced gas, the savings would be in the order of Rs. 7,000 crore per annum. Currently, even imported natural gas (LNG) as transport fuel is cheaper than diesel and petrol and PNG is cheaper than non-subsidised LPG as cooking fuel. Similarly gas based power from Fuel Cells is likely to be cheaper in near future than its competitors.
These increased savings can be redirected into development and public welfare projects. At a consumer level, if each of us replace 1% of our diesel or petrol consumption with gas, it would account to a saving of Rs. 30-40 on every Rs. 100 spent on fuel.
Natural Gas is the cleanest burning fossil fuel. It has an almost perfect combustion process and emits very few pollutants. This non-toxic fuel can significantly contribute in cutting down carbon emissions. Using it in fuel cells through a non-combustion process reduces the pollution level even further.
Natural Gas is a versatile fuel. It is being used for multiple purposes – from domestic cooking to power generation. It can be used for transportation, fertilizers and petrochemicals. It is highly efficient, convenient and reliable source of energy – it can be transported via pipelines, including to the end consumer and the transmission losses in transportation are minimum in comparison to all other fuels.
The government is committed to making natural gas a big player in the energy mix. It has taken several steps to enhance the availability of gas in the country – like accelerating E&P activities, expanding the existing gas pipeline network, developing import infrastructure for LNG, boosting domestic production, promoting usage of PNG, CNG and LNG etc.
#Gas4India – This mission is to transform India by adopting this affordable, cleaner and more efficient fuel as the most preferred source of energy. This is possible when each citizen participates and makes the switch to natural – for a brighter and cleaner future.
This portal is a humble effort by the industry to help citizens make this switch – by collecting all viewpoints, addressing all concerns, and resolving all issues and challenges. I look forward to hearing from you all as we build a collective consciousness on #Gas4India.