Rising environmental concerns are increasingly swaying government energy policies across the globe, prompting energy companies to invest in greener options. Over the next 5-7 years, Indian Oil aims to invest Rs 2 lakh crore to “evolve into a future-ready corporate that provides comprehensive energy solutions to diverse user groups”, company chairman Sanjiv Singh said in the annual report.“Indian Oil is aggressively leveraging its R&D expertise to move into horizon technologies like 2G & 3G (second and third generation) ethanol, biofuels, coal gasification, hydrogen-CNG, hydrogen fuel cells, battery technologies, etc.,” he said.
Indian Oil plans to scale up its solar and wind power portfolio to 260 MW by 2020 from 216 MW now, which includes 167 MW of wind and 49 MW of solar.An interesting transition is visible at more than half the company’s filling stations where solar panels are helping cut dependence on grid power. Pumps have experienced increased sales after solar installation in areas that suffered from unreliable grid supply. Of the total 27,800 fuel stations, 14,173 are solar-operated with a combined installed capacity of 77 MW. In 2018-19, 5,000 stations were converted to operate on solar.
The biggest push is set to come in the biofuel space. “Biofuels is a space the corporation is gearing up with great zest, emboldened by the renewed policy thrust on modern bioenergy,” the company said. It plans to invest in setting up 2G ethanol plants and a pilot facility for 3G ethanol plant, and integration of refinery processes with biofuel production.
It has issued letters of intent to entrepreneurs to set up 75 plants to supply 792 tonnes per day of compressed biogas (CBG) under the government’s sustainable alternative towards affordable transportation (SATAT) scheme that targets setting up 5,000 CBG plants over the next few years.
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