EXPLAINER: ONE NATION, ONE GAS GRID- GAS BASED ECONOMY-ENERGY POVERTY

EXPLAINER: ONE NATION, ONE GAS GRID- GAS BASED ECONOMY-ENERGY POVERTY

CONTEXT

Prime Minister Prime Minister inaugurated the 450-km natural gas pipeline between Kochi in Kerala to Mangaluru in Karnataka. 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’.

ONE NATION, ONE GRID

  • It is a concept to improve India’s connectivity infrastructure and to ensure availability of power to states at ‘affordable’ rates.
  • Finance Minister in her maiden Union Budget 2019 speech proposed the concept of a one nation one grid.
  • Notably, grid management on regional basis started in the 60s.
  • Subsequently, the state grids were connected to give birth to five regional grids namely Northern, Eastern, Western, North Eastern, and Southern region.
  • The process of integrating grids began with asynchronous HVDC back-to-back inter-regional links. The grids were linked with one another to ensure surplus power is exchanged between regions.

THE EVOLUTION OF THE NATIONAL GRID

  • 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 October 1991 North Eastern and Eastern grids were connected.
  • In March 2003 WR and ER-NER were interconnected.
  • 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’.

NATURAL GAS STATUS IN INDIA

  • Natural gas is the cleanest fossil fuels among the available fossil fuels.
  • It is used as a feedstock in the manufacture of fertilizers, plastics and other commercially important organic chemicals as well as used as a fuel for electricity generation, heating purpose in industrial and commercial units.
  • Natural gas is also used for cooking in domestic households and a transportation fuel for vehicles.
  • Gas supply sources in India:
  • Domestic Gas Sources: The domestic gas in the country is being supplied from the oil & gas fields located at western and southeastern areas viz. Hazira basin, Mumbai offshore & KG basin as well as North East Region (Assam & Tripura).
  • Import of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG): In order to meet the gas demand, Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) is imported through Open General License (OGL) in the country and it is imported by the gas marketer under various Long Term, Medium Term and Spot contracts.

GAS BASED ECONOMY INCLUDE:

  • Energy Efficient: Natural gas produces more energy than any of the fossil fuels in terms of calorific value.
  • Cleaner fuel: Natural gas is a superior fuel as compared with coal and other liquid fuels being an environment-friendly, safer and cheaper fuel.
  • Economy of use: Natural Gas (as CNG) is much cheaper compared with petrol or Diesel.
  • Emission commitments: India made a commitment to COP-21 Paris Convention in December 2015 that by 2030, it would reduce carbon emission by 33%-35% of 2005 levels.
  • Diverse applications: Natural gas can be used as domestic kitchen fuel, fuel for the transport sector as well as a fuel for fertilizer industries and commercial units.
  • Supply-chain convenience:  Natural Gas is supplied through pipelines just like we get water from the tap. There is no need to store cylinders in the kitchen and thus save space.
  • Pacing up the progress line: On the global front, switching to natural gas is bringing commendable results. The latest report released by IEA shows that the electricity produced by natural gas worldwide was more than that of coal for the first time ever.

CONCEPT OF ENERGY POVERTY

  • Energy poverty is lack of access to modern energy services.
  • It refers to the situation of large numbers of people in developing countries and some people in developed countries whose well-being is negatively affected by very low consumption of energy, use of dirty or polluting fuels, and excessive time spent collecting fuel to meet basic needs.
  • It is inversely related to access to modern energy services, although improving access is only one factor in efforts to reduce energy poverty.
  • Energy poverty is distinct from fuel poverty, which focuses solely on the issue of affordability.

BENEFITS OF ONE NATION ONE GRID

  • Synchronization of all regional grids will help in optimal utilization of scarce natural resources by transfer of Power from Resource centric regions to Load centric regions.
  • This will pave way for establishment of vibrant Electricity market facilitating trading of power across regions.
  • It will reduce regional imbalances and India will achieve its target of increasing the share of natural gas in its overall energy basket to 15 per cent by 2030.
  • 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.
  • Once ‘One Nation One Grid’ becomes a reality, there will be only one power frequency across the nation.

 NATURAL GAS PIPELINES

  • Jagdishpur – Haldia/Bokaro – Dhamra Pipeline Project (JHBDPL) & Barauni- Guwahati Pipeline project (BGPL)
  • North East Region (NER) Gas Grid
  • Kochi-Koottanad- Bangalore-Mangalore (Ph-II) Pipeline Project (KKBMPL)
  • Ennore-Thiruvallur-Bangalore-Nagapattinum– Madurai – Tuticorin Natural gas pipeline (ETBNMTPL)

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