Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu on Friday called for increasing indigenous production of crude oil through strong research and development (R&D) efforts to ensure energy security of the country.
Calling for ‘Atma Nirbharta’ in the country’s energy mix, he suggested focussing more on increasing domestic exploration of petroleum, harnessing the full potential of renewable sources and aiming for excellence and innovation in the energy industry.
Attending the first convocation ceremony of the Indian Institute of Petroleum and Energy (IIPE) – a dedicated university for petroleum research and recognised as an Institution of National Importance – in Visakhapatnam, Naidu noted that India is the world’s third largest consumer of crude oil and yet import-dependent for more than 80 per cent of its needs and underlined the importance of increasing production, not only to save foreign exchange but also to ensure energy security.
Citing various policy reforms of the government such as the Hydrocarbon Exploration Licensing Policy (HELP) aimed at increasing exploration in new sedimentary basins, he, stressing the impact of population and industrialisation on increased energy demand, said that India’s primary energy demand is expected to grow at an average rate of more than three per cent till 2045 as compared to less than one per cent growth for the rest of the world.
He called upon IIPE and other energy institutes to bridge the supply gap of skilled manpower for the petroleum sector and build stronger industry-institute linkages with the prominent market players.
The Vice President also suggested encouraging Ph.D. students to undertake research on problems faced by the industry and thus bring a multi-disciplinary approach into academic research, which is the aim of National Education Policy 2020.
Observing that India is blessed with ample renewable sources such as solar, wind and tidal power, he further suggested fully tapping the potential of these sources of energy as part of the efforts to reduce the use of fossil fuels.
To achieve this, he further suggested institutes specialising in energy should also seek to diversify their portfolio and take up projects which have a component of renewable energy research.
“Even a tiny improvement in the efficiency of harnessing green sources will deliver great benefits of scale to our economy and ecology,” he said.