Haritima : The Environmental Society Of Hansraj College

Rise in energy demand of India

Introduction

The phrase “energy demand” refers to the amount of energy needed by human activities. It powers the entire energy system, affecting the total quantity of energy utilized, the location and kinds of fuel used in the energy supply system, and the features of the energy-consuming end-use technologies.

Energy demand, which is influenced by what people do at home, at work, and on the go, has a big impact on carbon emissions and system costs. Comprehending the energy demand structure entails examining personal energy-related behaviors, the daily routine, the order of activities during the day, and the variations in energy demand over different time and space periods.

Current situation:

As per a recent research by Reuters, the demand increased by almost 8% in 2022, which is almost twice as fast as the Asia Pacific region. almost 149.7 terawatt-hours (TWh) were consumed compared to the previous year. The first two months of 2023 saw a 10% increase in demand over the previous year.

According to the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) most recent World Energy Outlook, India will have the fastest-growing energy demand of any nation or area in the world over the next thirty years. It also stated that by 2050, the nation’s need for electricity to run air conditioners in homes is expected to increase ninefold, surpassing Africa’s current overall power usage.

Reasons for rise :

The increase in economic activity is the primary contributory factor of this rise. The largest energy users in the nation are the commercial and industrial sectors. According to a Reuters study, in recent years, homes have accounted for one-fourth of India’s electricity demand, while agriculture has used more than a sixth.

Dependency on coal :

The demand for power in India is so high that it is becoming a daunting challenge. It has increased its output of coal as a result. The coal ministry reports that it increased by 14%, from 778 million tons in 2021–2022 to 893 million tons in 2022–2023. Additionally, India wants to boost its coal production to 1.5 billion tons by 2030 from its current goal of 1.31 billion tons for 2024–2025.

Reasons for dependency on coal :

1. Despite recent efforts, India has fallen well short of attaining the required percentage of power output from renewable sources. As of right now, barely 22 percent of the nation’s energy production originates from renewable sources, per a recent analysis by international research and consulting firm Wood Mackenzie. 75% of India’s electricity still comes from fossil fuels, primarily coal, it continued.

2. Renewable energy isn’t a dependable way to generate electricity. Because they depend on climatic conditions like sunlight, wind, and water availability, renewable energy sources like solar and wind are unpredictable. India must make significant investments in battery storage to guarantee a consistent supply; the country “needs more than 60 GW of battery storage to fully harness the promise of

3.Hydropower has its own complexity and is an important source of renewable energy for India. Many hydropower projects, including those in Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim, are planned or already under construction in the Himalayan region. However, they have faced criticism because the projects have harmed the local ecology and sparked worries about possible conflicts over the area’s water resources. Another problem is that, according to a CNBC report, hydropower needs more “advanced infrastructure… to ensure it serves as a reliable alternative to coal in the future.”

4.There hasn’t been much progress in the nation’s intentions to use nuclear power reactors to produce energy. According to Union Minister Jitendra Singh’s response to the Lok Sabha last month, the plants contributed roughly 3.15% of all the power generated in India during the 2021–22 year.

Plan to achieve net zero : 

According to the study titled “India’s energy-transition pathway: A net-zero perspective,” three key pillars—grid decarbonization, industrial decarbonization, and transportation transition—are said to collectively anchor India’s energy transition ambitions and are expected to address about 90% of the country’s current emissions.

Grid decarbonisation seeks to significantly increase the amount of electricity in the final energy mix, from 18% in 2020 to more than 50% by 2070.

Industrial decarbonisation largely focuses on hard-to-reduce sectors such as steel, cement, aluminum, and fertilisers, with a focus on Green Hydrogen (GH2), which is expected to find widespread use in these industries. 

The transportation transition centers on India’s strategic shift to low-emission technologies. The spectrum runs from Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs), Hydrogen Combustion Engines, and Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles.

Conclusion :

By 2030, India aspires to have three times the existing capacity of within 180 GW of renewable energy, or 500 GW. It will still rely on coal-generated electricity, though, given the restrictions associated with renewable energy.


– Siddharth Gautam

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