GCC countries need to identify consumers for big green energy investments: Indian oil minister

    02 Dec 2021

    The world is still going to “need large amounts of fossil fuels” for a while yet, the minister added.

    Countries in the Arabian Gulf have made big bets on green energy, but India’s oil minister says questions still need to asked as to who the consumer will be, Oil and gas Middle East states.

    “GCC countries in the region and elsewhere have … made very bold announcements to move into green energy and they want to be part of the [energy] transition. Of course, the question you can ask is, if they produce large amounts of green energy who is the consumer? That’s a legitimate question,” India’s Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas & Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri, said last Wednesday.

    Puri was speaking during an event held at the India Pavilion at Dubai Expo 2020 where he discussed the Indian oil and gas sector and energy relations between the UAE and India.

    While the minister was quick to note the importance of the energy transition, drawing attention to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s COP26 pledge that India will be net-zero by 2070, he added that it is a long way off.

    Throughout the energy transition the world is still going to “need large amounts of fossil fuels,” the minister said.

    India imports the vast majority of its energy needs currently, but Puri believes there is scope for its GCC relationships to develop in tandem with Gulf commitments to green energy.

    “I think I can see scope personally for partnership with the countries of the GCC region as we do with fossil fuels also to partner with them on green energy,” the minister said.

    On Modi’s commitment to net-zero by 2070, and that by 2030 50% of India’s energy requirements will be met by non-fossil fuels, Puri said that the “GCC can cooperate with us, others can cooperate with us, we will certainly make the transition.”

    Countries, governments, and businesses worldwide are increasingly making net-zero pledges amid a general push towards sustainability. A recent report found that almost 70% of organizations in the world’s richest countries are already committed to a net-zero target.

    Meanwhile, countries in the Middle East have announced big plans for green energy. Earlier this year, Saudi Arabia announced plans to reach net-zero emissions by 2060, along with huge ongoing investments in new energy technology such as green hydrogen. The UAE also set a net-zero by 2050 goal this year, along with an announcement of a bevy of investments in clean energy solutions.

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