India pushes for electric cooking to reduce gas import bill

14, Sep. 2020

A file photo of R.K. Singh, India’s Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Power, New and Renewable Energy, addressing a seminar in New Delhi on July 1, 2019. (Photo courtesy of  Press Information Bureau)
A file photo of R.K. Singh, India’s Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Power, New and Renewable Energy, addressing a seminar in New Delhi on July 1, 2019. (Photo courtesy of Press Information Bureau)

NEW DELHI, NNA- India plans to embark on a nation-wide adoption of electric cooking to reduce its huge gas import bill.

A 'Power Foundation' is being set up to drive the switch from the more expensive and cumbersome cylinders of liquified gas to cheaper, cleaner and convenient electricity for cooking in the country. Several cities have been relying on piped gas too.

Announcing plan for the big electricity push on Sunday, power minister R.K. Singh said the change will benefit the poor as well as the country under its clean energy and self-reliant policies to take the country to the next stage of development.

“Electricity is the future of India and most of its infrastructure will be powered by electricity including cooking completely on electricity, giving the poor strata of society a cheaper medium of cooking," said the minister, adding that the move is part of the country’s plan to achieve self-sufficiency in several economic sectors.

India has become the world’s second-largest importer of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) after China. India imports LPG from the Middle East.

An India-based think tank the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) said the use of electricity for cooking and heating was likely to increase after the country made progress in universal household electrification. The government has claimed that 100 percent of rural villages have access to electricity supply as of April 2018.

In its report in October last year, the council noted that 14 percent of rural households would use electricity for cooking by 2047 in an ambitious scenario painted by authorities studying the country's energy security.

“In 2018, only about one percent of rural households used an electric or induction stove. It thus becomes clear that a major policy push is required to wean households off fossil fuels and other traditional sources of cooking fuel and transition towards a clean energy stack through electricity,” the council said.