Pana­gariya Pitches for Elec­tric­ity as Clean Cook­ing Op­tion to LPG

Blogs that the cost-ef­fec­tive, emis­sion-free energy will re­duce pol­lu­tion as well as help cut the coun­try’s de­pen­dence on im­port of petroleum & its prod­ucts

The Economic Times - - Economy - Yogima.Seth @times­group.com

New Delhi: Niti Aayog vice-chair­man Arvind Pana­gariya has pro­posed elec­tric­ity as a clean cook­ing al­ter­na­tive to LPG, say­ing the cost­ef­fec­tive, emis­sion­free energy will re­duce pol­lu­tion as well as In­dia’s de­pen­dence on petroleum im­ports. The com­ments come at a time when the Naren­dra Modi-led gov­ern­ment is pre­par­ing a clean cook­ing strat­egy for the coun­try. “The coun­try aims to achieve uni­ver­sal elec­tri­fi­ca­tion by 2022. The­o­ret­i­cally, if elec­tric cook­tops were adopted, uni­ver­sal elec­tri­fi­ca­tion could trans­late into uni­ver­sal clean cook­ing as well,” Pana­gariya said in a blog, co-au­thored by Aayog’s energy ad­viser Anil Jain. The blog, posted on Mon­day, said there is no tar­get year to achieve uni­ver­sal clean cook­ing. “In­deed, con­sid­er­ing the mag­ni­tude of the task ahead, the cur­rent strat­egy of pro­mot­ing liq­uid petroleum gas (LPG) and ef­fi­cient biomass cook­ing via im­proved cook stove may take a while to achieve this im­por­tant ob­jec­tive,” it said.

The 2016-17 Bud­get has pro­posed to ex­tend LPG con­nec­tions to 5 crore BPL fam­i­lies over the next three years.

“How­ever, there is a to­tal of over 12 crore house­holds wit- hout a clean cook­ing so­lu­tion, so that a strat­egy based on LPG alone may take a long time to get there,” the blog said, adding that it, there­fore, makes good sense to in­clude elec­tric­ity in the over­all clean cook­ing strat­egy.

In­dia im­ports 50% of its do- mes­tic LPG re­quire­ment and in­ter­na­tional prices of oil and gas are volatile, mak­ing another case for con­sid­er­ing greater use of elec­tric­ity for cook­ing.

“This energy is emis­sion­free at the point of con­sump­tion and, there­fore, al­le­vi­ates the prob­lem of black car­bon that fills a large num­ber of In­dian homes to­day. Ad­di­tion­ally, there is no prob­lem of avail­abil­ity of power, it is broadly cost-ef­fec­tive, does not have an im­port-de­pen­dence di­men­sion and is al­ready likely to be de­liv­ered to every­body in the next six years or so,” it said.

Ac­cord­ing to the blog, con­sis­tent with the gov­ern­ment’s wel­fare agenda, elec­tric­ity sub­sidy dis­pen­sa­tion is amenable to an ef­fi­cient di­rect ben­e­fit trans­fer (DBT), too. “In short, there is plenty in its favour as a cook­ing energy.” Ac­cord­ing to a NITI Aayog study, con­sump­tion of 8-10 LPG cylin­ders (14.2 kg each) per year is equiv­a­lent to elec­tric­ity con­sump­tion of nearly 4 kWh per day. This im­plies that at pre­vail­ing elec­tric­ity prices, the elec­tric so­lu­tion will cost about the same as LPG if crude oil price re­mains around $60 per bar­rel.

ARINDAM

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