India’s Energy Demand Predicted to Double by 2070: Report

New Delhi: According to a report titled India’s energy-transition pathway: A net-zero viewpoint, it has been estimated that India’s energy demand will double to around 1200 Mtoe (Millions tonnes of oil equivalent) by 2070 under a net-zero scenario with aggressive energy efficiency initiatives. The report was released by by FICCI and Deloitte India.

According to report, to reach its net-zero emissions goal by 2070, India will need to invest US$ 15 trillion. It has highlighted three fundamental pillars, namely grid decarbonization, industrial decarbonization, and transport transition, which collectively serve as the cornerstone of India’s energy transition objectives and are projected to result in a 90% decrease in current emissions.

  • Grid Decarbonisation: With estimates ranging from 18% in 2020 to more than 50% by 2070, Grid decarbonisation aims for a dramatic increase in the amount of electricity in the final energy mix. As per the Deloitte estimate, the roadmap to grid decarbonisation necessitates more than 2000 GW of grid-scale renewable energy (RE), including wind and solar, as well as an additional 1000 GW of RE for green hydrogen production.

This transformation will necessitate an ambitious capacity addition of around 50 GW/year of RE, a significant increase from the historical norm of 15-20 GW per year. The report suggests, in order meeting these goals, the central and state governments speed up the bidding process for renewable energy procurement. State governments, who are in a unique position to play a critical role, must facilitate quick land allocation/acquisition and expedite legislative permissions for project development.

  • Industrial Decarbonization: The second pillar concentrates on crucial industries such as steel, cement, aluminum, and fertilizers. The main focus of this pillar is Green Hydrogen (GH2). According to projections, GH2 is anticipated to fulfill a substantial portion of the global energy demand by the year 2070, with over 50 million tonnes (MT) being produced.

The study suggests taking steps to reduce costs and foster widespread acceptance of GH2, in order to address the economic impact of the technology. It is crucial to support early-stage demonstration initiatives, particularly in the steel and cement sectors.

  • Transport Transformation: The third pillar highlights India’s strategic shift towards low-emission technologies, which includes everything from battery electric vehicles (BEVs) through hydrogen combustion engines (HCEs) to fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs).

There is a need to have a strong Public-Private Partnership (PPP) to create charging infrastructure and hydrogen refuelling, according to report. Both the federal and state governments must prioritise efficient urban planning strategies that can reduce travel distances and motorised travel demand through investments in railways, including augmentation and modernization, freight corridors, and mass public transit.

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