Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Tuesday said that India will target to have a mixed energy basket with both renewable and non-renewable sources of energy.
In his address at a programme organised by the CII and the US-India Business Council, he said that although there are calls for lowering coal usage in the wake of global warming, India will continue with the consumption of coal keeping in mind affordability for its people.
“In our energy basket, our coal consuption is 50-55 per cent. And very politely I will assure this house, we will continue to use coal, because, looking into my affordable capacity, looking into my consumers pocket, why should I stop coal?” he asked.
“I am not a pollutant. India is not a pollutant at the global sphere. I am not responsible for the global warming… My vision will be, we will follow the path of mixed basket. We will use coal as well as more cleaner coal,” he added.
India has, over the past few years, tried to diversify sources of energy and has also emphasised on solar power and natural gas.
On the trade of energy between India and the US, Pradhan said that the trade engagement can enhance from here on.
He also observed that India is a major consumer and importer of energy and no player in this segment can ignore the market.
“Those who want to be in the energy business, it may be hydrocarbon, it may be more clean energy, solar, battery, electric charging sytem. Those who want to be in the energy trading and energy business cannot ignore the Indian market. There is a lot of scope for investment, for innovation and for new businesses.”
Visiting US President Donald Trump on Tuesday also said that he discussed an energy deal with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in their bilateral talks earlier in the day.
The President”s statement assumes significance as India imports a significant portion of its energy needs from the US which has only increased in the past few years. The US is the sixth largest oil supplier to India.
US Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette on Tuesday said that oil supplies from the US to India have jumped 10-fold to 250,000 barrels per day (bpd) in the last few years.