A new energy policy being prepared by the NITI Aayog will be ready in the next 10 to 12 weeks and will lay greater emphasis on solar energy and natural gas for the country’s energy mix.
“The draft of the energy policy has already been prepared and we are in talks with the various energy ministries now. This should be issued as a policy in 10-12 weeks,” a senior official of the NITI Aayog said on Friday.
The official added that there are several changes in the new energy policy as compared to the earlier energy policy formed by the erstwhile Planning Commission in UPA-II regime.
“In this policy we are going to give a lot more emphasis on solar energy as the cost of electricity from solar has come down drastically. Natural gas will also get due importance,” said the official.
He added that the policy will also try to address air quality concerns. However, the concerns addressed will be specific to India and not just air quality concerns being talked about across the world.
“Another key feature in the energy policy will be the government’s attempt to provide universal electricity and provision of clean cooking fuel. When the erstwhile Planning Commission framed its energy policy, around 37 per cent of the country’s population did not have electricity and around 75 per cent of the people used solid fuel for cooking. Therefore, these two areas were not addressed by the energy policy of the Planning Commission,” the official said.
Besides the energy policy, the NITI Aayog will also begin work on a New Energy Data Agency.
According to the official, the agency will be modelled on the US Energy Information Administration.
“We will be working closely with the US EIA and the Ministry of External Affairs has given us clearance for the same. We would try to provide various types of energy data on one platform,” the official said.
The National Energy Data Agency will aim to provide oil and gas mapping by working with the Directorate-General of Hydrocarbons, transmission line mapping, energy demand mapping, mapping of solar irradiation and other such information.
However, the official said the data agency is likely to be set up in the next three to four years.
In order to showcase some of the research work carried out by the NITI Aayog in the field of energy with various research institutes, the body will host a National Conference on Energy Data Management, Modelling and GIS Mapping on August 10.