Petroleum minister: Half state fuel stations will be solar-powered in five years


The Indian government aims to solarize around half of its fuel stations within five years, petroleum and natural gas minister Dharmendra Pradhan announced at the first World Solar Technology Summit, which is being held online this week.

The minister said Indian oil and gas companies are deploying solar panels across their operations and have already installed 270 MW of generation capacity, with a further 60 MW in the pipeline in the year ahead. Indian Oil, the nation’s largest state-owned oil business solarized more than 5,000 of its fuel stations last year, according to the minister.

Pradhan said: “Increasingly, Indian oil and gas companies are actively taking part in India’s clean energy transition. To reduce carbon footprint, these companies will be focusing more on green energy investments such as renewables, biofuels and hydrogen, going forward.”

The minister added, state-owned oil and gas companies are also increasingly evaluating new renewable energy opportunities for diversification.

In line with prime minister Narendra Modi’s call to develop low-cost, indoor solar cooking solutions, Pradhan said, Indian Oil has worked with Sun Bucket System, a U.S. start-up which works in the area. “The government is encouraging Indian oil and gas companies to develop such innovative and scalable tie-ups in the solar sector, which have the potential to make a nationwide impact,” said the minister at the virtual event.

As the government pushes solar deployment, it is overhauling Indian supply chains and reducing dependence on solar module imports.

The petrol and gas minister also said the country has received proposals for more than 10 GW of solar equipment manufacturing capacity under the Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan (Self-Reliant India reforms) announced by the prime minister.

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