State-owned Oil Marketing companies (OMCs) will run all retail fuel stations on solar energy by 2024, announced Pankaj Jain, Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.
“We aim to 100% solarize all petrol and diesel stations in India by 2024,” said Jain during a signing ceremony between the government and oil and gas exploration and production companies on Friday, 9th September.
There are three major government-owned OMCs in India: Indian Oil Corporation Ltd, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd, and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd.
Together these three organizations have 75,000 retail outlets. The government has been pushing the oil marketing giants to power their fuel stations through solar energy.
Currently, the OMCs have installed solar panels across 29,266 stations, out of which 3000 were added this year.
The oil and gas secretary, in his speech, also declared that OMCs have to set up 20,000 Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations across India by 2024.
Mr. Jain also spoke of the increased Crude and Natural Gas exploration area in India. As per the secretary, this increased area will help OMCs carve out new blocks. Further, the government has plans to have a 1 million sq. km area, dedicated to oil and gas exploration by 2030.
Additionally, Mr. Jain spoke about the plans to increase Compressed Natural Gas(CNG) outlets, from 4,664 stations currently, to 17750 stations by 2030. For PNG, the government plans to create 50 million supply lines by 2030.
In recent years, OMCs have started investing in cleaner energy sources. In 2019, the Indian Oil Corporation announced its plans to invest ₹250 billion in renewable energy projects such as solar, wind, and biomass. Moreover, Bharat Petroleum partnered with Solar Energy Corporation of India in 2021, with a plan to create 1 GW of renewable energy by 2025.
This plan to power retail fuel stations through solar energy is another positive step in the renewable energy direction.
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Resource: Money Control