Niti Aayog Vice Chairperson Suman K Bery, ET EnergyWorld

<p>Suman K Bery, Vice Chairperson, NITI Aayog</p>
Suman K Bery, Vice Chairperson, NITI Aayog

New Delhi: The Europe must respect India’s sovereign freedom to make its own energy choices and trust the country as it moves forward on its Net Zero commitments, Niti Aayog Vice Chairperson Suman K Bery has said. He was referring to India’s coal use along side an ambitious plan to ramp up renewables.

Speaking at the Economic Times Energy leadership Summit 2023 held here recently, Bery said: “The point is that India’s politics is no less complicated than Europe’s, and if you had to resort to coal in response to Russia, please grant us the sovereign freedom to make the choices by trusting us on the journey that we are committed to.”

The Niti Aayog VC was speaking in the inaugural session of the event which also hosted addresses by His Excellency Freddy Svane, Ambassador of Denmark to India, among others. “Ambassador Svane is one of the most enlightened voices coming out of Europe and I would hope that he is persuasive with his authorities,” Bery said.

He also said India’s energy transition is going to imply a fairly substantial move in its energy centre of gravity, and we must not forget that as recently as the late 1990s, the country’s energy sector was dominated by the public sector and we have now turned that situation on its head.

“A large part of the renewable energy landscape has come up on the basis of the actions by the private sector. So, challenges like stability and regulation at the sub-national level represent the governance issues we will face going ahead. A part of the Niti Aayog’s role in dealing with the states will be to persuade them that capricious action is not helpful in achieving their goals in the energy sector,” Bery said.

He also added that the other sub-national dimension of India’s Net Zero journey is the geographic and transportation transition as a large part of Indian Railways’ operational patterns and revenue depends on haulage of coal. At the same time, the new centres of renewable energy generation are likely to be in the west while most of the coal resources are in the east.

Bery said the high share of private sector investment in the energy sector going forward means the instruments for mitigating financial risks will become very important. Secondly, the regulatory risks will start to matter more, and NITI is always open to listen to the problems faced by the industry with respect to regulation both at the national and the state level.

“Third, when we are depending on the private sector for a large amount of investing, the issue of financial channels will become very important. Finally, the cross-border dimesntions of this are very important. And to resort to punitive options like the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) etc is not respectful of India’s (climate) commitment,” Bery said.

He said in the energy sector, Niti Aayog operates on a time horizon defined by three critical dates – 2030, with respect to India’s INDC commitments; 2047, when India is targeting to becoming a developed economy, a 100 years after independence; and 2070, regarding the commitment to Net Zero.

Bery said Prime minister Modi believes that India’s development journey must be based on latest technology, and therefore being open to technology from the rest of the world is an important part of the country’s journey to 2070.

  • Published On Jul 10, 2023 at 06:43 PM IST

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