DEEP - DECARBONIZATION STRATEGY FOR INDIA:BALANCING CLIMATE CHANGE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
INTRODUCTION: BALANCING CLIMATE CHANGE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
In this world of constant change and flux, the one thing that people have markedly felt is the rising temperatures around the world. Deep-decarbonization refers to the process of reducing carbon emissions into the atmosphere to limit the global warming to below 2°C above pre-industrialized level.
India is the third largest emitter of CO2 after China and the United States, and made up around 6 to 7% of the total emissions in 2015 compared to 15% by the U.S.
Given the current policies and scenarios, CO2 emissions from India are estimated to increase to 2.7 times the 2015 levels to around 5,700MT by 2040—constituting 13% of the world total. On the other hand, U.S. emissions are estimated to reduce by 7% between 2015 and 2040 to ~4700MT, lower than that of India (IEA database).1 This puts India in the center stage for measures against global warming and towards decarbonization.
BALANCING DEMAND GROWTH AND ENERGY CONSUMPTION PATTERNS FOR THE FUTURE
With the current government policies and commitments in place, modeled under the New Policies Scenario (NPS) by the International Energy Agency (IEA), India’s emissions will more than double the current emission levels and will eclipse those from the U.S. by 2040. Energy policies in place are not enough to simultaneously meet the growing energy demand and keep emissions low. The Sustainable Development Scenario (SDS), also modeled by the IEA, highlights the 2040 targets required for achieving deepdecarbonization while meeting demand and ensuring electricity access and clean-cooking access. Energy consumption of buildings constitutes the largest sector of energy consumption in 2015 at almost 40% of the total energy consumption share. The industrial sector is second at 35%, followed by the transport sector at 15%. By 2040, the consumption patterns for energy move drastically, signaling an evolution of new trends.
KEY CHALLENGES IN CURRENT SCENARIO
Decarbonization of the power sector along with increased electrification of energy demand hold the key to achieving deep-decarbonization for India. Currently 75% of the electricity generated is from coal and only 15% from renewables. As per SDS, the power system will need to transform to one with over 60% renewables, half of which would be solar PV by 2040. Under SDS, the share of electricity in meeting final energy consumption increases from 15% in 2015 to over 26% in 2040 with higher electricity access, electrification in the transport sector by way of electric vehicles, electric rail, and in buildings and agriculture with a higher share of appliance ownership, cooling
requirements, solar pumps, etc.
Excerpts for Kleinman Centre for Energy Report ‘DEEP-DECARBONIZATION STRATEGY FOR INDIA…’