The Government of India is planning to convert diesel generators used by telecom towers to run on natural gas. It will cut the economy’s carbon footprint by reducing diesel consumption and expanding the clean-burning fuel’s share in India’s primary energy basket.
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Government says the country can reduce diesel consumption by 32.6 Crores litres of diesel a year if the 182,000 of the 520,000 plus towers – where conversion is possible –switch to gas.
As per latest survey, the quantity of diesel saved is equivalent to roughly 4 days consumption in Delhi, the country’s largest automobile market. This means if all the identified towers are converted, it will save 4 days emission in Delhi.
The oil ministry has taken initiative to make natural gas available across 53% of the country’s area by adding 18,000 km of pipelines in the next few years and launch city gas service in 400 districts covering 70% of the population.
Environment & Forest Ministry may ban or replace DG sets to gas generators as the fuel becomes available in more areas. It also suggests including gas generator manufacturing in White category for easier environmental clearance.
The government plans to raise the share of gas in energy basket from 6% to 15% by 2023. Only 34 geographical areas similar to licence areas across states/districts) in India had city gas networks till 2014.
The push for natural gas has seen the number of households with PNG connections rising to 55 lakh and CNG stations to 1,838, marking a growth of 14-15% in the last five years. Total PNG connections are expected to rise to over 4 crore, while the number of CNG stations are expected to swell to 10,000 by 2024 as more cities get city gas service.