India Seen Among Top Drivers Of Gas In Vehicles But Poor Infra A Hurdle
It may not be a good sign if the national capital of a country, which is on its way to become a superpower, earns the dubious distinction of being the most polluted city in the world. So, the government of India in the recent past has unfolded a slew of measures to address the issue of rising pollution which is threatening to cause hardships of Biblical proportions.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's move to implemented the odd-even road space rationale on Delhi roads in two phases, for instance, was one such attempt that was aimed to address pollution issues.
On the other hand, the efforts, small and large, to replace the use of oil with gas seem to be working. In its latest forecast, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has said India is on its course to be the biggest contributor to growth in the use of natural gas in vehicles after the US and China through 2040.
"One of the top automobile markets, where about 70 per cent of vehicles run on diesel, India is seeking to cut emissions and its import bill by more than doubling natural gas use in its energy mix by 2021," says a Bloomberg report. "Still, progress toward widening the use of natural gas will be slow given declining domestic production, a patchy pipeline network and limited regasification capacity for imports," the report adds.
In India, people are ready to opt for a fuel that is cleaner and cheaper. But, is the country's infrastructure good enough to meet the demand that is likely to rise in the coming years?
“If the government pushes natural gas as a primary fuel for transportation, India's vehicular gas consumption could jump eight times to over 62 million cubic meters a day by 2030,” the report quoted Virginia-based energy consultancy ICF International Inc as saying.
According to the IEA, India's demand for natural gas is likely to rise four-fold to 190 billion cubic meters (bcm) by 2040 while the domestic production might rise to only 90 bcm. This means the country will have to import gas to meet the demand-supply gap of 100 bcm. That is about imports.
But, crucial in implementing the ambitious plan to provide a cleaner fuel option, would be the work on pipelines. India has plans to double its pipeline network to about 30,000 kms from the existing 15,000 kms. The eastern parts of the country will be the focus area in that regard; the network in western parts is comparatively more developed.