Govt OMCs to Run Retail Fuel Stations on Solar by ’24

Highlights :

  • Secretary Pankaj Jain said, “We aim to 100% solarize all petrol and diesel stations in India by 2024.”
  • CNG, currently retailed through 4,664 stations is expected to be expanded to 17750 outlets by 2030, as a cleaner fuel.
Govt OMCs to Run Retail Fuel Stations on Solar by ’24 O&M Arm of Gensol Emerges Winner for 5 MW Solar Tender Floated by IOCL

Indian Government-owned companies are increasingly employing renewable sources of energy to decarbonise operations and add to the country’s target of achieving the net zero target by 2070. In a fresh announcement, Pankaj Jain, Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, has said that state run-oil marketing companies (OMCs) will operate their complete network of petrol and diesel retail stations on solar energy by 2024. The 12 GW CPSU scheme has already been under way since 2019 to push solar deeply, making slow progress. IREDA is the implementing agency for that.

The Secretary was delivering a keynote on the occasion of a signing ceremony between the government and the companies delving in oil and gas exploration and production with regards to new blocks. Pankaj Jain said, “We aim to 100% solarize all petrol and diesel stations in India by 2024.”

The three major government-owned oil marketing companies – Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOC), Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL), and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) – together make about 75,000 petrol and diesel stations in India. The central government has asked the OMCs to deploy solar panels on their station premises to become self-reliant in terms of power requirements.

29,266 retail outlets have been employed with solar power panels. About 3,000 retail stations were added in the last financial year.

The idea of using solar to power pumps has a lot of merit, simply because it’s a large segment with cash rich ownership, the pumps are usually located in places suitable for solar installations, and finally, many pumps in rural area actually burn diesel to power their operations during extended power cuts. For these, savings could be delivered much more faster thanks to Solar. What will be interesting is how owners of many of these pumps, unlike the company owned and operated pumps, react to the move.

Other Mandates 

The Petroleum and Natural Gas Secretary said in his speech that the crude and natural gas exploration area in India has increased significantly. Increased exploration for oil and gas will also help the oil marketing companies to look for new blocks and the government is targeting 1 million sq km of area to be under oil and natural gas exploration by the end of this decade.

Compressed natural gas, which is considered a clean form of energy, is being retailed through 4,664 stations and the government looks to increase these outlets to 17750 by 2030. Similarly, it also aspires to have 50 million domestic PNG supply lines by 2030.

Pankaj Jain also held that the oil marketing companies are also mandated to construct 20,000 electric vehicle charging stations at petrol and diesel pumps in the country by 2024.

On the occasion of World EV Day, IOCL – India’s largest oil marketing company – said that it will have all energy offering services at its retail outlets. It has already employed over 2,500 charging facilities at its stations across the country. The company has also solarised more than 20,000 of its fuel stations which are highest in the world presently and the installed capacity is 116 MW.

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