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RSTV: THE BIG PICTURE- ONE NATION, ONE GAS GRID

RSTV


Introduction:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 450-km natural gas pipeline between Kochi in Kerala to Mangaluru in Karnataka. Speaking at the event, he set out his government’s energy roadmap, envisaging more than double the share of cleaner natural gas in the consumption basket, diversifying sources of energy, connecting the nation with one gas pipeline grid and bringing affordable fuel to people and industry. He stressed that a gas-based economy is crucial for Atmanirbhar Bharat and work is being done in the direction of ‘One Nation, One Gas Grid’. The pipeline grid, the Prime Minister emphasized will not only help improve clean energy access, but also aid in the development of city gas projects.

One nation, one gas grid:

  • It will be high-voltage electric power transmission network in mainland India, connecting power stations and major substations and ensuring that electricity generated anywhere in mainland India can be used to satisfy demand elsewhere.
  • All the willing rural households would be provided with cooking gas and electricity connection by 2022 that is by the 75th year of India’s independence.
  • This year at the India Energy Forum the government announced that the expansion of national gas grid would be done upto 34,500 kilometres from the previous 17,500 km. It would be accompanied by pricing reforms too.

Evolution:

  • Grid management on regional basis started in sixties.
  • Initially, State grids were inter-connected to form regional grid and India was demarcated into 5 regions namely Northern, Eastern, Western, North Eastern and Southern region.
  • In August 2006 North and East grids were interconnected thereby 4 regional grids Northern, Eastern, Western and North Eastern grids are synchronously connected forming central grid operating at one frequency.
  • On 31st December 2013, Southern Region was connected to Central Grid in Synchronous mode with the commissioning of 765kV Raichur-Solapur Transmission line thereby achieving ‘One Nation One Grid One Frequency’.

Need for Grid:

  • India is the third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases after the US and China
  • The Grid would be helpful in meeting emission reduction targets that were signed at Paris Agreement which would be done by increasing the usage of natural gas and Green fuel
  • Natural gas can be used as a transition fuel before completely switching to solar or clean energy. India aims to increase the share of Natural gas usage to 15% by 2030
  • India was witnessing unprecedented work on highways, railway, metro, air, water, digital and gas connectivity under his government. Only 15,000km of natural gas pipeline were built
  • The most important benefit of synchronizing all regional grids is that it reduces pressure on already scarce natural resources, by transferring power from resource-centric regions to load-centric regions.
  • It will also facilitate power trading across regions, thus, establishing a vibrant electricity market.
  • One Nation One Grid becomes a reality, there will be only one power frequency across the nation.

Benefits:

  • The gas pipeline would make a positive impact on the economic growth of both the states, improve the standard of living of people and reduce expenses of both the poor and entrepreneurs alike. The project will also play a major role in reducing pollution.
  • The pipeline, which involved generation of 1.2 million man-days of employment, will help develop a new ecosystem of employment and selfemployment involving various sectors like fertilizer, petrochemical and power.
  • It will also help India save thousands of crores of rupees in foreign exchange.
  • Better availability resulting in lesser power cuts.
  • More stability in power.
  • Better synchronisation.

Develop blue economy in coastal states:

  • One nation, one gas grid would help shift to a gas-based economy and the government was taking policy initiatives to increase the share of natural gas in India’s energy basket from 6% to 15%.
  • On one hand, focus is being laid on natural gas to meet the country’s energy needs while on the other, energy resources are being diversified. Efforts are on to produce ethanol from rice and sugarcane and a 10-year goal has been set to blend 20% ethanol in petrol.
  • focus on renewable energy will also help India meet its COP-21 commitments for cutting carbon emissions.
  • Measures have been initiated to help fishermen with deep sea fishing, form a separate fisheries department and provide affordable loans and Kisan credit cards to those engaged in aquaculture.

Natural gas under the GST regime:

  • Global energy majors are bullish on the growth of natural gas usage in India and have called on the government to bring natural gas under the GST regime at the India energy Forum being held this week.
  • Currently petrol, diesel, aviation turbine fuel, natural gas and crude oil fall outside India’s Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime. Government officials have also indicated that the government is considering bringing natural gas under the ambit of the GST regime.
  • Experts have argued that bringing natural gas under the GST would lead to a reduction in the cascading impact of taxes on industries such as power and steel, which used natural gas as an input.
  • The inclusion of natural gas under the GST regime would do away with the central excise duty and different value added taxes imposed by states. This would lead to an increase in the adoption of natural gas in line with the government’s stated goal to increase the share of natural gas in the country’s energy basket from 6.3% to 15%.